Watch CBS News

Santa Monica College launches state's first homeless service training certificate

CBS News Live
CBS News Los Angeles Live

As California faces a growing homelessness crisis, Santa Monica College is starting a new "Homeless Service Work Certificate" program, which is the first of its kind in the state. 

The new curriculum, launching next fall, will offer scholarships to 25 students to help with issues of housing policy, health equity, and the evolution of homelessness. 

"When I walk, I walk by so many people that are unhoused, but unfortunately what happens is people move from place to place, but they're not moving into a place where they have shelter," said Dr. Nancy Greenstein, an SMC trustee who is the driving force behind the program. 

There are currently 1,300 entry-level homeless services positions unfilled in Los Angeles County. Experts said the positions that are filled have a painfully high turnover rate.

"We're desperate for workforce to come into the space with some sort of baseline understanding of what it takes to do this work on a daily basis," said Celina Alvarez, an SMC adjunct faculty member. 

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is funding the program with a $750,000 grant, with the hope that graduates of the certificate will have the skills to be successful at helping others. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.