Spotlight: Tapestry of Friendship with Mark Faucette

Mark was at the table for LARRP’s inception, as they brainstormed how it would be possible, in a County as large as Los Angeles, to weave a tapestry of relationships and partnerships that could make a difference in the lives of individuals coming home from State Prison and Jail. Mark was also on the team that brought the Amity Foundation to Los Angeles over 20 years ago while creating space for LARRP other community partnerships to convene.

“I never wanted Amity, [derived from the word friendship] to be in its own world and felt strongly that impactful community reentry is based on efforts to demonstrate connection to the community in a positive way.”

“I always keep in mind that many of these men and women are parents, brothers, and sisters. What a difference they can make to break decades of multi-generational addiction, incarceration, and poverty!”

After working with Amity and other Community based Organizations for several years, Mark moved on to work with Los Angeles County, Department of Health Services(DHS), Housing for Health. He began working on an expansion of services in the newly formed Office of Diversion and Reentry. Mark was on the team to begin the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program that was a way to connect men and women pre-booking to services and housing. This was a project LARRP supported from the beginning of the concept and it was operated by LARRP member, HOPICS.

“Not only did this effort expand to support more and more people, it was at the same time a great expansion of many community based organizations with a passion to help those in our local jails to connect with housing, mental health, education, recovery, and support to lower the recidivism rates, big time in Los Angeles!"

At DHS, Mark worked on various other efforts, such as Breaking Barriers, operated by LARRP partner Brilliant Corners , a rapid rehousing programs. And he worked with the Housing and Jobs Collaborative, managing 12 CBO’s, serving over a thousand men and women. And he worked in partnership with other CBO’s, developers, and other stakeholders to lease up new Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) throughout our county.

At the beginning of the pandemic, you could find Mark unloading trucks at the break of dawn to distribute food to community based organizations that were working with participants in our PSH projects as well as the unhoused.

“Being of service and stepping up to volunteer with our partner, World Central Kitchen, each morning was an experience I will cherish. The amount of gratitude that I was met with each morning was remarkable”.

As the Holidays approached this past December, Mark was invited to apply for a new effort that intends to impact the entire State of California and Native American communities to build the infrastructure we need across the State to support behavioral health, substance use treatment, and many other efforts and interventions. Click here for more information!

The new projects are the Behavioral Health Infrastructure Program (BHCIP) and the Community Care Expansion Program (CCE), these are funded by the DHCS (Department of Health Care Services) and CDSS (California Department of Social Services).

DHCS was authorized through the 2021 legislation to establish BHCIP and award 2.1 billion to construct, acquire, and expand properties and invest in mobile crisis infrastructure related to behavioral health. CDSS oversees CCE, which was established through AB172 as a companion effort focused on the acquisition and construction of adult and senior care facilities. These serve the SSI/SSP and CAPI applicants and recipients, as well as other adults who are experiencing homelessness or at risk. These combined programs represent the largest provision of resources for infrastructure in the State’s history. This is an unprecedented opportunity to effect meaningful, sustainable change in the behavioral health and long-term care continuums in California.

“I am honored to be a part of this process and bring with me all of the experiences, knowledge, and understanding of how to keep striving to make California a more equitable place for some of the most disenfranchised communities. We will, with this effort, bring more people HOME! After Spending a day with LARRP Executive Director Troy Vaughn and Program Coordinator, Anthony Garcia, at the LA Mission for their annual holiday celebration in December, I was reminded of how grateful I am and how much more work we all collectively need to do”.

Mark, who is a LARRP co-founder, is now a senior member of the implementation team at Advocates for Human Potential, which has been contracted by the State to implement BHCIP and CCE. He serves on the LARRP Executive and Steering Committee, the Board of Directors for WERC (a LARRP Partner!), serves on the Community Advisory Board (CAB) for the California Policy Lab at UCLA for Homelessness Prevention.

Mark continues to support and mentor many individuals across the country and in Latin American countries launching reentry projects and other social justice initiatives.

Congratulations to Mark Faucette, you have the LARRP network behind you!