Skid Row Housing Trust

Ending chronic homelessness

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation works to make permanent supportive housing a reality for chronically homeless people in Los Angeles County.

On any given night in Los Angeles, there are more than 7,000 chronically homeless, many of whom have been homeless for years and have severe disabilities, such as mental illness, substance abuse disorder, and chronic health problems. These are among the most vulnerable people in our society—and they are among the most costly to society, requiring a disproportionate amount of public health and public safety services. A wide body of research shows that permanent supportive housing is the best, most cost-effective solution to chronic homelessness.

National studies show that chronically homeless people—18 percent of the overall homeless population—consume 64 percent of homeless system resources.

The Hilton Foundation, in defining our strategy for solving homelessness in Los Angeles County, conducted a landscape research (pdf) project to understand the issue, the solutions, and the funding landscape.


In partnership with the public, philanthropic, nonprofit, and private sector stakeholders at work on this urgent issue, the Hilton Foundation aims to eliminate chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County. Together, we will do this in three ways: creating and operating permanent supportive housing, ensuring that the most vulnerable are housed in these units and can stay there as needed, and preventing more people from becoming chronically homeless.


In 2010, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation board approved a program strategy (pdf) to guide our work in homelessness. Our current priority in this area focuses on three components:

  • Facilitating systemic change to create an enabling environment for permanent supportive housing
  • Strengthening targeted programs, pilots, and providers through leveraged grants
  • Developing and disseminating knowledge for the field


One of the three initiative areas for the chronic homelessness strategy is “developing and disseminating knowledge for the field” and as part of strategy development for the Initiative, the board directed staff to rigorously evaluate results.  Abt Associates Inc. was contracted by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in September 2011 to conduct an evaluation of the Hilton Foundation's Chronic Homelessness Initiative, a strategy designed to reduce and eliminate chronic homelessness within the Los Angeles County region.  

Recent evaluation reports include:

Evaluation of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Chronic Homelessness Initiative: 2014 Report, Abt Associates Inc., October, 2014
Evaluation of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Chronic Homelessness Initiative: 2013 Report, Abt Associates Inc., November 20, 2013

To read all of our reports, click here.

Enduring emphasis on homelessness

For more than two decades, the Hilton Foundation has been addressing homelessness in the United States. Much of our work has focused on the housing and service needs of the long-term homeless, such as those with mental illness. We have also initiated collaboration between homeless services and child development providers to improve outcomes for homeless and at-risk families.

Since 1990, the Foundation has granted more than $90 million seeking to solve the problem of homelessness, of which nearly $65 million has targeted our current focus area of increasing access to supportive housing in Los Angeles County. We seed innovations through our support of the Corporation for Supportive Housing and other key partners. We helped spearhead the creation of Funders Together, a national network of private philanthropic organizations working to end homelessness.