By: Sreeram Kurada
After almost a year, LA County resumes the annual homeless count in 2022, which will take place during January 25-27th. The LA Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is asking for volunteers to help count the unsheltered street count of homeless individuals, which is the main component of the homeless count.
By: Nyoko Brown
A topic of increasing concern is the access individuals who use injection drugs have to clean and free needles. People in vulnerable populations, such as those who are unhoused, face a number of barriers to accessing clean needles ranging from lack of supplies to a lack of privacy when seeking services. Satellite exchange programs, such as Clean Needles Now in Los Angeles are actively improving their outreach and ability to supply clean needles. While there is still much progress to be made, the research papers presented here give much insight into the severity of the issue.
By: Brian Tang
After touring the homeless encampment outside the gated grounds of the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs (VA) campus in October, VA Secretary Denis McDonough noticed that the fairly large encampment consisted of mostly veterans. He subsequently traveled back to Washington and vowed to provide all of these homeless veterans housing in addition to 500 other homeless veterans by the end of 2021.
By Nyoko Brown
Many advocates for health equity are emphasizing Equity-Oriented Health Care (EOHC) as a standard for delivering sustainable and accessible healthcare to vulnerable communities. Individuals experiencing homelessness face physical and social barriers to care that programs with an EOHC approach could begin to mitigate. EOHC is healthcare that is tailored to the patient that is being treated with cultural sensitivity and trauma- and violence-informed care (Gilboe, 2018). Los Angeles Clinics tackling the alarming number of HCV cases within the homeless community serve as a current model for how healthcare can evolve to meet the needs of those without stable housing.
By: Kimia Rategh
Within the last month, great changes have been made to Los Angeles’s approach to combating homelessness. However, this change has sparked questions as to whether this change was motivated by politics or a genuine concern for the homeless.
By: Nyoko Brown
In the efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, those experiencing homelessness are severely neglected. The article entitled Prisons: Amplifiers of the COVID-19 Pandemic Hiding in Plain Sight provides insight into just how detrimental mass incarceration in America is to lessening the spread of the pandemic.
The article defines “custodial settings” as involuntary institutions such as prisons, jails, juvenile detentions, and immigrant detention facilities. Those who are incarcerated are subjected to overcrowding, inadequate ventilation, insufficient hygiene, and other conditions that increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. Incarceration may also weaken one’s immune system due to the added stress and inadequate sleep inmates may experience, risking more severe infection.
People experiencing homelessness have increased rates of incarceration due to the high number of law enforcement interactions they are subjected to. Due to law enforcement targeting unhoused individuals, they frequently are forced to move between custodial and community settings. This puts a further strain on local community hospitals that are caring for serious cases of COVID-19. This article urges community leaders to fight for incarcerated individuals' rights to safe and livable conditions by pushing for stronger and more effective infection control in custodial settings.
Barnert, Elizabeth, et al. “Prisons: Amplifiers of the COVID-19 Pandemic Hiding in Plain Sight,” American Journal of Public Health, 10 June 2020, https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2020.305713.
By: Nyoko Brown
There is an alarming rate of people who view homelessness as an "invasive and suspicious presence" near their residence rather than as a life threatening crisis to those experiencing it. Many request law enforcement for crimes that are referred to as “quality of life crimes,” which historically have increased the policing of homeless individuals (INCITE!, 2018). A quality of life crime includes actions such as sleeping, urinating, and congregating in public spaces (INCITE!, 2018). Policies like these directly exploit the fact that many of the ways for surviving homelessness depend on having safe public spaces to exist.
By: Evelyn Silva Rosales
A new breakthrough in the homeless population of LA has been set forth with the implementation of a project that was approved 5 years ago. Today, this project is a reality in 6 LA neighborhoods, where unhoused residents have the opportunity to live in small houses of 64 square feet.
By: Brian Tang
The Build Back Better Act is a bill created by House Committees that would spend approximately $327 billion for a wide range of housing spending, including $90 billion for permanent rental assistance ($75 billion for vouchers and $15 billion for project-based rental assistance), $80 billion for public housing repair and renovation, and $37 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund, which would build new and affordable units to people with vouchers or extremely low income.