The United Health Foundation has pledged $1 million to provide urgent assistance to Los Angeles County residents experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced on Friday.
The partnership with the California Community Foundation's COVID-19 LA County Response Fund is part of UnitedHealth Group's previously announced initial $50 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support those most directly impacted, including healthcare workers, hard-hit communities, seniors and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, the foundation said.
The donation will support Los Angeles County clinics and hospitals that serve unsheltered residents and low-income individuals, triaging those who are sick or who have been exposed to the virus, and will assist housing providers and shelter operators who are responding to the increased demand for emergency services for the county's homeless population, according to United Health.
"The COVID-19 public health emergency has compounded the many challenges faced by Los Angeles County's most vulnerable residents," said Dr. Amar Desai, president and chief executive officer for Optum California, an integrated health system made up of medical groups and physician networks serving more than 1.4 million patients across Southern California.
"This assistance will help support some of the hardest-hit members of our community, including those without reliable access to housing," he said.
UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare, Optum and the United Health Foundation, has a history of addressing homelessness, a key determinant of health among vulnerable populations in California and across the country.