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Hollywood 2.0 – Year One for This Innovative Program Casts Hollywood 4WRD in the Role of Community Engagement Partner

Hollywood 2.0 – Year One for This Innovative Program Casts Hollywood 4WRD in the Role of Community Engagement Partner

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It’s been an exciting, inspiring first year for Hollywood 2.0 (H20), and one for which Hollywood 4WRD has long had a ringside seat. H4WRD’s involvement with H20 dates back to its launch in the summer of 2022, and even earlier to the innovative program’s inception! 

The idea for H20 was hatched in Trieste, Italy, where people living with mental health conditions have been treated effectively for decades through a combination of community-centered care and progressive treatment methods. Beginning in 2017, a delegation of LA leaders from various disciplines—judges, mental health, homelessness agencies, advocacy organizations, law enforcement, district attorney’s office and more – traveled to Trieste to observe more closely the model of care practiced in the small Italian village. The group was inspired and incentivized by what they witnessed there.

Trieste’s approach to their most vulnerable population was based on the philosophy of Dr. Franco Basaglia, the psychiatrist who revolutionized Italy’s mental health care system, and whose work inspired the community-based form of treatment that would come to be referred to as “radical hospitality.” Among the Trieste delegation were H4WRD Founding member, Kerry Morrison, along with future Executive Director, Brittney Weissman, then serving as the leader of NAMI Greater Los Angeles County. Kerry, Brittney and the rest of the delegation became increasingly determined to bring Trieste’s model of “radical hospitality” to an American community that needed it badly. 

Back in Los Angeles, an innovative program began to evolve, based on the premise that individuals living with serious mental illness (SMI), especially those also experiencing homelessness (PEH), have the same right to a whole and full life as they do in Trieste, Italy. That meant supporting the 3 P’s we all need and deserve to enjoy a happy, healthy life:

  1. People: family/community who care for and support us, and to whom we belong
  2. Place: a safe place to call home
  3. Purpose: a meaningful, purposeful way to spend our days

What started out as the original Mental Health Services Act-funded TRIESTE pilot transitioned during the pandemic and the advent of CalAim into Hollywood 2.0. Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) was tapped as the H20 administrators, excited to help the Hollywood community grow more resilient, innovative and resourceful in the development of the program. DMH knew, however, that they would need a strong community liaison in order to fulfill this unique, place-based investment for them.

Hollywood 4WRD was just the community engagement partner DMH was looking for. Having built up a wealth of community good will in their 10+ years of existence, H4WRD brought to the table valuable experience as the hub connecting all stakeholders in the Hollywood community invested in ending homelessness in Hollywood – from service providers and business leaders, to Faith-Based organizations and concerned local residents.

In July of 2022, five years after its inception, H20 was introduced officially to the community. Since that time, H4WRD has been convening monthly meetings of H20’s three community workgroups, People-Systems, Purpose, and Place, based on the three P’s above. The workgroups have rolled up their sleeves and contributed a wealth of innovative ideas in the past year, many of which came from people experiencing homelessness (PEH) who lent their vision to direct the process as well. H4WRD is especially grateful to these folks for providing the compass that has guided the work of H20 every step of the way.

As year one comes to a close, several of the community’s ideas are being considered for additional funding and development by DMH. But that’s not enough for H4WRD’s Executive Director, Brittney Weissman: “As excited as I am by the progress we’ve made so far, I know the H4WRD community is looking forward even more to continuing to carve H20’s innovative path in the years ahead, and to ensuring that the dream of Trieste will become a reality in Hollywood!”

For more on Trieste’s WHO-recognized model of care, please check out the resources below: