header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail


Today in
S.C.V. History
April 23
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]

By Martin Macias Jr.

LOS ANGELES – A disproportionate number of black residents of Los Angeles are homeless because of discriminatory housing and employment policies, structural racism in policing and unconscious bias in homeless services, according to a study issued Monday.

Black residents make up 9 percent of the population of LA County, but account for more than 40 percent of the region’s homeless population in 2017 according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which said in its study that racism and homelessness are deeply intertwined.

“The impact of institutional and structural racism in education, criminal justice, housing, employment, health care, and access to opportunities cannot be denied: homelessness is a by-product of racism in America,” the study said.

LA County has the largest number of unsheltered homeless individuals in the nation, with more than 55,000 homeless in 2017, according to the LA homeless services authority’s data.

Persistently low and stagnant wages, involvement in the child welfare system, discrimination in the job market and an unjust criminal legal system all combine to exacerbate homelessness for black residents, the study said.

Despite efforts to place them in housing, homeless black Angelenos return to homelessness at higher rates than all other race and ethnic groups, the study found, pointing to “systemic bias in policies.”

Some of almost 70 recommendations on how the city and county can reverse systemic racism include encouraging collaboration and information sharing between departments that serve the homeless and training staff on institutional racism and racial bias.

Black people in the county who are experiencing homelessness should also be included in all levels of policy design and implementation, according to the study.

Backers of the study called for embracing a racial equity lens throughout homelessness policy and across public and private spheres.

LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said at a press conference Monday that “the invisible hand of structural injustice” across government agencies and homeless services has brought pain to black residents.

“Hard work lies ahead to counter this tragic inheritance,” said Ridley-Thomas. “If our region is to prosper, it is not only a moral imperative, it is an absolute economic imperative that all who call Los Angeles home are able to attain their full measure of dignity and self-worth.”

The Golden State’s housing shortage – over 3.5 million units – was also called out in the study, which highlighted the gap in housing availability despite government investment.

At a meeting with Southern California leaders on Feb. 19, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state would back jurisdictions financially if they build their share of affordable housing to stem the state’s affordability woes.

Cities that lay out plans to develop affordable housing can access $250 million in incentives and an additional $1 billion in tax credits if they reach their goals, Newsom said.

A 2018 point-in-time count of the state’s homeless population found about 130,000 Californians were homeless – nearly a quarter of the national total, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

A University of California, Los Angeles, study this month found that homeless Latinos in LA are less likely to access homeless services or receive support from public or private agencies due to language and cultural barriers.

Latinos, who make up more than 48 percent of LA County’s population, represent 35 percent of its homeless population, according to 2017 homeless services authority data.

The study by UCLA researcher Melissa Chinchilla, “Stemming the Rise of Latino Homelessness: Lessons from Los Angeles County,” found Latinos are undercounted in regional homeless counts because they tend to live in converted garages and households with multiple families.

Homeless Latinos and Latino renters are also less likely to utilize support services or advocate for their rights due to their citizenship status, the study found.

Summary of Key Insights from the Report

* For lasting change to occur, institutional barriers across agencies and mainstream systems must be dismantled to eliminate the racial disparities and systemic racism affecting Black people experiencing homelessness.
* The mounting affordable housing crisis across the state, especially in the Los Angeles region, paired with persistently low, stagnant, and declining wages, exacerbates homelessness and particularly affects Black people.
* The interconnectedness of incarceration and homelessness creates a revolving door that only serves to make the plight of homelessness more challenging and complex.
* Black people experiencing homelessness have disproportionately high rates of child welfare system involvement.
* Care and empathy are crucial components of outreach and case management services—and of policy and program design. These components must be embedded within agency leadership and decision-making bodies that support direct service delivery. When asked, “What would have kept you from becoming homeless?” participants, in different words, responded, “having someone who cared about me.”
* The inclusion of Black people with lived experience of homelessness in all aspects of program and policy design, implementation, evaluation, and service delivery, is critical to ensuring that programs and services effectively meet the needs of those they are intended to serve.
* The quality of interim housing varies across facilities, and for some, living in a shelter can be a traumatizing or re-traumatizing experience.
* Despite local investment to expand the permanent housing resources within the Los Angeles County Coordinated Entry System (CES), a gap in housing availability remains, as the number of participants in need of permanent housing resources greatly exceeds the available supply.
* This scarcity of resources often results in people living in unsheltered conditions or in interim housing for extended periods of time. Although CES appears to place Black people experiencing homelessness into housing at proportional rates, Black people served through CES permanent housing interventions experienced a higher rate of returns to homelessness than all other race and ethnic groups. This points to a significant need for further research to better understand what is causing this disparity and what additional supports are needed to improve housing stability and retention.

Summary of Report Recommendations
* Improve data collection, analysis, and collaborative research to better understand and track issues affecting Black people experiencing homelessness.
* Advance racially equitable policies, programs, and funding across institutions, including LAHSA, homeless service providers, and city and county agencies.
* Enhance cross-system collaboration and partnerships to more effectively prevent and reduce the time spent in homelessness and improve housing retention and stability for Black people experiencing homelessness.
* Expand capacity building and training opportunities to ensure service providers understand the impact of institutional racism and racial bias on Black people experiencing homelessness.
* Target investments and funding enhancements to initiatives aimed at reducing disparities and ensuring sufficient funding for services and programs supporting Black people experiencing homelessness.
* Implement targeted improvements to service delivery within the Los Angeles County CES and other systems of care in which Black people experiencing homelessness are overrepresented, to address barriers and improve outcomes for Black people.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment

    Monday, Apr 22, 2024
    As Volunteer Appreciation Week approaches, the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to all its dedicated volunteers who tirelessly contribute to DACC's mission of advancing the well-being of animals and people in the County.
    Monday, Apr 22, 2024
    Monday, Apr 22, 2024
    A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy, who was severely injured in October after an explosion and fire at a Pitchess Detention Center mobile shooting range, died Saturday, LASD announced Sunday.
    Friday, Apr 19, 2024
    The Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity and its regional partners have held the first of several upcoming rapid response events to urgently connect soon-to-be laid off local workers, impacted by the recent bankruptcy and closure of dozens of local 99 Cents Only Stores, to critical workforce services.
    Friday, Apr 19, 2024
    Youth in Los Angeles County foster care as young as 13 can open their own checking and savings accounts without an adult co-owner through the Youth Access Banking program.

    Keep Up With Our Facebook
    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger issued a statement in support of the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer’s presentation of a $45.4 billion budget for the forthcoming 2024-25 fiscal year.
    Kathryn Barger | Statement in Support of $45.4B County Budget
    In a celebration held Tuesday, April 23 at the Port of Barcelona, award-winning actress and performer Hannah Waddingham officially welcomed the newest and most innovative Princess Cruises ship, Sun Princess, serving as godmother during a star-studded naming ceremony.
    Hannah Waddingham Officially Christens Sun Princess
    Six comprehensive high schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District which includes Canyon, Golden Valley, Hart, Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch have been ranked among the top public high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
    Hart District High Schools Recognized Best in Nation
    College of the Canyons will offer four summer sessions running from June 3 through Aug. 17, giving students a variety of options in both class format and scheduling designed to help them achieve their educational goals, from launching a new career to transferring to a four-year university.
    COC Offers Four Summer Sessions for Flexible Learning Options
    California State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced his measure to combat illegal dumping, by increasing penalties and closing a loophole which has enabled the problem for years, was approved in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
    Wilk’s Illegal Dumping Bill Approved by Committee
    Super Jazz at the Ranch, a daylong jazz festival hosted by West Ranch High School, is happening Saturday, May 18. Music will fill the air as performers from throughout the region showcase their talents.
    May 18: Super Jazz Festival at West Ranch High School
    California State Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, has presented The Healthy Homework Act (AB 2999) to the Assembly Education Committee.
    Schiavo Presents Healthy Homework Act to Prioritize Mental, Physical Health
    The city of Santa Clarita has notified the public that the playground at West Creek Park, 24247 Village Circle Drive, Valencia, CA 91354, is currently closed for repairs on the rubberized surface.
    West Creek Park Playground Closed for Repairs
    The Santa Clarita Valley Media Collaborative invites local creatives, media industry professionals, students, parents, teachers and others to celebrate the next generation of media makers participating in the inaugural NextGen MediaMakers Festival on Saturday, May 18 from 2-5 p.m. at the Canyon Country Community Center.
    May 18: NextGen MediaMakers Festival Invites Creatives, Students, Experts to Celebrate Media
    1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]
    As Volunteer Appreciation Week approaches, the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to all its dedicated volunteers who tirelessly contribute to DACC's mission of advancing the well-being of animals and people in the County.
    DACC Pays Recognition to Volunteers
    The Canyon Country Farmers Market will be celebrating their two-year anniversary Wednesday, April 24.
    April 24: Canyon Country Farmer’s Market Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary
    The Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Auxiliary presented a $35,000 check Monday to the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation for the foundation’s Patient Tower Capital Campaign.
    Henry Mayo Auxiliary Fulfills $600K Patient Tower Pledge
    The Acton/Agua Dulce Arts Council has announced a call for entries for "Creature Feature," a juried art exhibition, with a theme of any living creature.
    Entries Needed for ‘Creature Feature’ Art Show
    The Acton/Agua Dulce Arts Council has announced a call for entries for a juried exhibit open to all photographers, both professional and amateur.
    Acton/Agua Dulce Arts Council Announces Call for Photographers
    Recently I had the opportunity, along with spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein and Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA President Nikole Bresciani, to meet with NBC 4 reporter Kathy Vara to discuss the current challenges facing animal sheltering organizations.
    Marcia Mayeda | Current Challenges in Animal Sheltering
    As city manager for 12 years now and a longtime resident of Santa Clarita, I am always proud to see how our community continues to grow.
    Ken Striplin | Visit Skyline Ranch Park – Santa Clarita’s Newest Amenity
    The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the list of six productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, April 22 - Sunday, April 28.
    Filming in Santa Clarita Includes Six Productions
    Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is recognizing its valued volunteers during National Volunteer Week April 21-27.
    Henry Mayo Celebrating National Volunteer Week
    The regular meeting of the Saugus Union School District Governing Board will take place Tuesday, April 23, with closed session beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed immediately by public session at 6:30 p.m.
    April 23: Saugus Union to Discuss 2023/24 Personnel Report
    The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a self-evaluation workshop Wednesday, April 24, beginning at 2 p.m.
    April 24: COC Board of Trustees’ Self-Evaluation Workshop
    A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy, who was severely injured in October after an explosion and fire at a Pitchess Detention Center mobile shooting range, died Saturday, LASD announced Sunday.
    LASD Deputy Dies Months After Pitchess Shooting Range Explosion