The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs will host a “Roundtable on How Mediation Can Help the Homeless Population” at the L.A. Law Library in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
In celebration of National Mediation Week, October 15-21, this year’s roundtable theme, as announced by the American Bar Association, is “Mediation, Civility, and the Power of Understanding.”
The roundtable will be comprised of mediators, non-profit representatives, and a formerly homeless individual who is now working as a homeless advocate.
In conjunction with this event, the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs held a writing contest on this topic calling for proposed mediation programs. The winner will be announced at the roundtable.
RSVP to Tanzila Huda at 213-974-2072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The L.A. Law Library is located at 301 W 1st Street, Los Angeles 90012.
In anticipation of the roundtable, DCBA Director Brian J. Stiger wrote an editorial, “Combining Compassion with Mediation: Exploring Programs to Combat Homelessness,” which follows:
With nearly 60,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles County, communities are understandably concerned and want to find ways to help.
Behind the statistics are stories – real stories of real people. That’s 60,000 personal stories, and each situation should be treated uniquely.
While researchers and experts try to understand just how we can combat homelessness, the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) turns toward its free mediation services as one way to assist the community.
How can we combat homelessness through mediation? By instilling compassion in our communities and using the strategies of various types of mediation to negotiate and resolve disputes between families, friends, and significant others.
We’ve mediated cases involving people who are homeless and security guards at local shelters, managers of temporary housing facilities, shelter and employment assistance staff, as well as other community organizations such as animal shelters.
As DCBA’s Director, I’m proud of our dispute resolution program. Resolving challenging complaints is in our DNA. We want everyone to feel empowered and informed to make the correct choices to improve or maintain their livelihoods.
Our department is the only government agency that provides court-connected mediation. We conduct on-the-spot mediation in Los Angeles County Superior Court, with cases ranging from Limited Civil jurisdiction litigation, to Unlawful Detainer and Small Claims cases.
We also mediate cases for the community. Whether you’re having issues with a neighbor, a landlord or tenant, a teacher, or anyone else we want to help you resolve them.
In addition to our mediation staff, our group of volunteer mediators provides 600 to 700 hours of free mediation assistance to the community each month.
Our team of about 50 volunteers brings their expertise from diverse backgrounds, including law, education, psychology, real estate, as well as retirees from various professions.
Why do people want to be part of our mediation team? It’s simple. We get results and we’re making it more convenient to use mediation. We mediated 3,701 cases in the 2016-17 fiscal year.
Our department was also recognized for our Online Dispute Resolution program, which allows parties to resolve their case from the convenience of their computer or smartphone by negotiating through video, back-and-forth bidding, online chat, and messaging. We resolved 82 percent of our ODR cases.
To learn more about our mediation program, join us October 15-21 as we celebrate National Mediation Week, highlighted by the roundtable event on October 17 detailed above.
DCBA’s mediators can help you save money, save a trip to court if you can, and save the grief. Our mediation services are free and we’re more than happy to help you reach a resolution.
Visit dcba.lacounty.gov or call 800-593-8222 to learn more about L.A. County’s no-cost mediation program.