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TAY System Navigators:

TAY Navigation Team:

The TAY Navigation Team consists of a TAY System Navigator, which is a master’s level clinician, and a housing specialist. Each TAY navigation team is assigned to each service area. The TAY Navigation Team’s primary role is to assist Seriously Emotionally Disturbed (SED) and Severe and Persistently Mentally Ill (SPMI) youth by navigating them through the various human services systems in order to achieve effective linkages to needed mental health, housing, and other essential services.

TAY System Navigators:

The TAY System Navigators promote mental health activities that are conducted at a variety of sites, including the Los Angeles County Children’s Court, Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Probation Department, local colleges, and non-branded community based organization that serve TAY. In addition, TAY System Navigators provide clinical consultations to these departments and organizations while outreaching and engaging TAY that are referred. Finally, in an effort to reach unserved, underserved, and inappropriately served youth, the TAY System Navigators have established helping relationships with a number of community-based drop-in centers. There, Navigators are able to build trusting alliances with the youth, provide short-term treatment interventions, conduct brief screenings to assess mental health and housing needs, and provide linkages and referral to appropriate services and supports.

Additional TAY Navigators are assigned to the Los Angeles County Probation camps, where they provide effective linkage to continuing Mental Health Services and community supports for SED/SPMI TAY leaving the camp settings.

Housing Specialist Services:

A study commissioned by DMH in 2003 of federal rental subsidy programs revealed that far fewer than half of the consumers approved to receive a rental subsidy actually leased an apartment. This was largely because mental health staff lacked the time and resources needed to assist the consumers who faced multiple barriers to securing private market housing with their housing search.

Serving as integral members of the TAY Navigation Team, Housing Specialists work closely with individuals’ clinician/clinical team to assist with housing retention efforts and facilitate communication among involved parties. They assist SED/SPMI TAY with completing applications for rental subsidies, and prepare consumers for interviews with prospective property owners or housing managers. One of the primary responsibilities of a Housing Specialist is to act as an advocate and negotiator for consumers with poor credit and poor housing histories while establishing a professional relationship with property owners and managers. For Transition Age Youth (TAY), this is a critically needed service, as many have little or no history of living independently.

For more information, see the Navigation Team Roster

Mental Health Program/Services

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Related Information

Transition-Age Youth (TAY) System of Care (SOC)
Terri Boykins, LCSW, Deputy Director (213) 738-2408
TBoykins@dmh.lacounty.gov

Transition-Age Youth (TAY) Division
Mary Romero, LCSW, M.H. Clinical Program Mgr. III
(213) 738-4644
Mromero@dmh.lacounty.gov
 

FSP and FCCS
Belen Camacho-Fuller, LCSW, Program Manager II (213) 351-7737
Bfuller@dmh.lacounty.gov

For more information on our TAY Programs contact TAYDivision@dmh.lacounty.gov
 

TAY FSP Final Authorization Team:
Authorization Desk (213) 639-6730

TAY Enhanced Emergency Shelter Program
Gatekeeper (213) 738-6194

Permanent Supportive Housing Ambassador
Andrew Onaghise (213) 471-6529
Aonaghise@dmh.lacounty.gov

TAY Navigation Program 
Haydouk Zakarian, LCSW (213) 351-7736
Hzakarian@dmh.lacounty.gov

Rhonda Richards-Smith, LCSW (213) 351-6649
Rrichardssmith@dmh.lacounty.gov

TAY MHSA PEI Evidence-Based Practices and Co-Occurring Disorders Unit
Shirley Flournoy, Ph.D., Program Manager (213) 738-6195
Sflournoy@dmh.lacounty.gov

Sermed Alkass, PsyD, Managing Psychologist (213) 738-4715
Salkass@dmh.lacounty.gov

TAY Drop-In Centers
Sylvia Alarcon (213) 639-6071
Salarcon@dmh.lacounty.gov

Juvenile Justice and Probation Camps/Halls Division
Karen Streich, Ph.D. - District Chief (213) 738-2895
Kstreich@dmh.lacounty.gov

Juvenile Justice Aftercare Services Division
Belen Camacho-Fuller, LCSW - Program Manager II (213) 351-7737
Bfuller@dmh.lacounty.gov