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.
By: Saba Doust
The Research Committee of Heart in Hand LA, in collaboration with AWARE at UCLA hosted a workshop concentrated on the intersection of homelessness and immigration. The session was held on May 6, 2021 with members of both organizations in attendance. The interactive and discussion-based format of this workshop aimed to create a safe and welcoming space for fruitful and enlightening conversations and sharing of various perspectives on the matter.
By: Saba Doust
Heart in Hand LA is celebrating their first year anniversary! We are very proud of the accomplishments the organization has achieved thus far and look forward to what lies ahead!
Given that it is impossible to cover all the incredible work that has been done by each member of the organization in the past year, in this blog, we aim to highlight some of the remarkable work done by the organization’s committees to this date.
By: Saba Doust
On April 16, 2021 during the third week of spring quarter at UCLA, the Research Committee held a workshop to provide insight into the work of Venice Family Clinic (VFC), one of the clinics Heart in Hand LA has been working with since the past year. The committee invited a guest speaker, VFC’s Volunteer Services Manager, Ms. Stephanie Barreiro, who provided information on available volunteering opportunities at the clinic. Members of HHLA as well as other UCLA students attended the workshop and had their questions answered.