The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative announced Wednesday Cheri Todoroff, director of community programs at the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, was appointed as interim executive director.

Phil Ansell, the first director of the agency that seeks to improve the lives of individuals and families experiencing homelessness, announced his retirement in January.

Todoroff will begin her new job April 1. She will remain until then at the Department of Health Services, where she oversees Housing for Health, one of Los Angeles County’s largest programs to combat homelessness.

The program, which Todoroff helped create, provides services to people experiencing homelessness, including multi-disciplinary outreach teams, interim housing, recuperative care, permanent supportive housing and benefits advocacy.

Todoroff has worked for Los Angeles County for 32 years. Before serving as director of community programs, she was director of Housing for Health.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to continue serving Los Angeles County and its residents, especially those who are the most vulnerable, and look forward to continued progress as the County and its partners work collaboratively to address the humanitarian crisis facing us on the streets,” Todoroff said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an even greater urgency to our efforts, and we are working diligently to address the crisis at a scale never seen before. I am committed to building upon the unprecedented work of the County and its partners to help those in great need.”

The Homeless Initiative was created by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 17, 2015.

Los Angeles County CEO Fesia Davenport said Todoroff “combines detailed knowledge of the countywide homeless services system, tremendous expertise, and a vast network of relationships which will enable her to seamlessly lead the Homeless Initiative through the end of the current pandemic and beyond.”

“The heart of the Homeless Initiative has been broad-based collaboration since its inception,” Davenport said. “Cheri will sustain this focus on collaboration among county departments, homeless service providers, cities, faith organizations, academia, philanthropy, business, and countless others.”

Todoroff received a master’s degree in public health from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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