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This is how California can better address the homeless crisis, a homeless advocate says

This is how California can better address the homeless crisis, a homeless advocate says

The recent spate of random, brutal attacks by homeless people may have some Angelenos fearful of the next unintended incident.

However, the answer is not for everyone to walk in fear 24/7 or to assume that all homeless people have bad intentions.

Mental health is an issue plaguing LA County’s homeless population. Sometimes, what is perceived as a violent attack can be a mental health episode Administration of substance abuse and mental health services Said.

Jeffery Levin, an attorney who has worked with the homeless for 16 years, uses contextual awareness when confronting a homeless person who is behaving erratically. He observes their hands and movements to see if they attempt to threaten him without immediately anticipating something dire.

“I don’t think we need to pretend we don’t live in a violent world. I don’t think we need to live in fear, but I do think we need to live smart,” Levine said.

Levin is the executive director Long Beach Rescue Mission. This Christian faith-based organization helps homeless people by providing housing, meals, and programs that address mental health and substance abuse.

Contextual awareness can temporarily address specific situations, but it goes a long way toward solving the homelessness crisis.

The crisis is nothing new to Southern California. Residents have seen several attempts to address the situation, and while some progress has been made, no solution seems to completely solve the problem.

Study from September Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) The homeless population in LA County has increased by 4.1% since 2020. A study was not conducted in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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To find a solution, homelessness should not be treated as just a housing problem. Levin said. Instead, addressing the homelessness crisis requires a multi-layered approach.

“It’s not just financial or housing issues that lead to homelessness. Childhood trauma is a major contributing factor to a person experiencing homelessness,” Levine said.

From a 2013 study The American Journal of Public Health It shows that adults who have experienced negative childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect or household dysfunction in their childhood are more likely to be homeless in their adult life.

Alcohol or drug abuse can affect the homeless because the person is trying to escape or slow down their trauma, Levine said.

“When I see someone homeless or sleeping on the street, the first thing I remember is that this person was once young and now they are adults trying to deal with their trauma.”

“I don’t think it’s keeping them in homes; we need to develop a system of care that underlines all the contributing factors.”

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