Quote of the day: homelessness
The Los Angeles Times ran a series of articles on a 22 year old pregnant homeless woman in Los Angeles County.
From the article:
Mckenzie’s family came out of poverty in Louisiana’s Cajun Country, and for three generations had been buffeted by domestic violence, mental illness and homelessness, and caught up in child welfare cases. Her mother, Cynthia “Mama Cat” Trahan, was taken from her mom at age 5 and placed in foster care. Mckenzie and Cat were homeless on and off during her childhood, and Mckenzie was also put in foster care.
Young adults who age out of foster care after such heightened trauma are at serious risk of repeating the cycle of homelessness and losing their kids to foster care. It’s an ominous harbinger for Los Angeles, where multigenerational homelessness is not uncommon — and the system is not equipped to meet the needs of people with such profound struggles.
“The homeless system is not designed to address and unpack all of the other systemic failures that have led somebody to where they are today,” said Heidi Marston, who resigned in May as executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
I have made this point before, that people often have pretty simplistic ideas about nasty developers etc.being the reason for homelessness.
But homelessness is mostly a product of profound poverty, often multigenerational, and all the physical, mental, and social health issues that are associated with it.
And the cost of dealing with that is a lot more than "merely" the cost of providing housing. And it's ongoing.
Not to mention the ongoing dis-coordination between agencies and programs. Even with case worker assistance, a lot is expected of the program participants, and they tend to be people that don't handle program hiccups very well, which is compounded by poor planning at times by the agencies, and the failure to provide an adequate level of coordinated help.