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Governor announces Task Force on homelessness

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California Governor Gavin Newsom speaking to reporters. (Screenshot KTVU Channel 2, Oakland)

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he has ordered the creation of a task force on homelessness as California grapples with a mounting housing crisis that has seen record numbers of the state’s residents without having a safe and secure place to call home.

Newsom made the announcement during a press conference at the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center transitional housing facility, a former hotel on 16th Street in Oakland.

The Democratic governor was flanked by Bay Area elected officials including Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, as well as Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly.

The Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force will be co-chaired by Sacramento’s Mayor Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas the governor told reporters gathered at the Robinson Multi-Service Center. He also noted that he has proposed that the state increase spending on homelessness.

According to the Oakland Housing Authority and Alameda County officials the number of people experiencing homelessness increased 43 percent over the last two years in a report they issued last week.

“This is the humanitarian crisis of our time,” said Mayor Schaaf as she introduced Newsom.

The spending increase is included in the governor’s May budget revision, which also would increase emergency aid for local jurisdictions, make money available to cities and counties directly and fund permanent supportive housing or innovative approaches like motel and hotel conversions.

“No Californian can say homelessness is someone else’s problem – it affects us all,”  Newsom told reporters. “Homelessness is a matter of statewide concern, but solutions will come from the local level.

Mayors, county supervisors and city councils around the state are working hard to reduce homelessness and its underlying causes. We’ll be watching these local and regional solutions closely, to lend a hand and help them scale.”

The governor stressed the importance of state-local partnerships to combat homelessness.

In the greater Los Angeles Metroplex, the escalating problem of homelessness was sharply illustrated by the preliminary results from the 2019 Los Angeles Homeless Count under the direction of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, (LAHSA).

LAHSA Executive Director Peter Lynn appeared before the LA County Board of Supervisors last month to give them an idea of where the numbers were headed.

“Regardless of the direction of the count, there are tens of thousands of Angelenos who are experiencing homelessness, and that is far too many,” Lynn told the supervisors.

The results of the 2019 homeless count in Los Angeles County will include a detailed demographic and geographic breakdown. It amounts to a comprehensive census of Los Angeles County’s homeless people the Laist reported.

As Lynn pointed out to the supervisors, “we do know the 2019 results in our neighboring counties show homelessness has jumped significantly.”

In Orange County, volunteers counted 6,860 people in 2019, up 43% from 4,792 in 2017 when the last count was administered. In San Bernardino County, the number jumped 23% to 2,607 since 2018. In Riverside County, volunteers counted 2,811 homeless people in January, 22% more than last year. And in Ventura County, the official number increased by 28%, from 1,299 people to 1,669.

The number in Los Angeles County in 2018 was 52,765.

LGBTQ advocacy groups point out that even within those numbers, there are a disproportionately large segment of the overall homeless population who are LGBTQ.

The National Coalition for the Homeless noted in their findings;

Frequently, homeless LGBTQ persons have great difficulty finding shelters that accept and respect them. LGBTQ individuals experiencing homelessness are often at a heightened risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation compared with their heterosexual peers. Transgender people are particularly at physical risk due to a lack of acceptance and are often turned away from shelters.

Of greater concern LGBTQ advocacy groups and centers as documented by the Williams Institute, 40% of the homeless youth served by agencies identify as LGBTQ

  • 43% of clients served by drop-in centers identified as LGBTQ
  • 30% of street outreach clients identified as LGBTQ
  • 30% of clients utilizing housing programs identified as LGBTQ

Sacramento’s Mayor Darrell Steinberg told the reporters “The growing problem of homelessness is nothing less than a humanitarian, public health, safety and economic crisis facing California”

“I’m looking forward to working closely with Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and the administration of Governor Newsom to develop comprehensive recommendations for how we can get thousands of people off the streets and into housing, and also help prevent thousands more from slipping into homelessness,” he added.

A brand new first-ever homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth in Sacramento is slated to be opened this summer in the state’s capital city. According to David Heitsuman, the Executive Director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, plans are in the works to open up a 12 bed transitional shelter of LGBTQ young people between the ages of 18 to 24.

The number one cause is family rejection Heitsuman notes pointing out this is why community leaders feel there is an immense need to focus on LGBTQ youth who are disproportionately impacted by homelessness.  

The Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force will meet a number of times throughout the year in cities and counties around the state to observe best practices firsthand and receive input from governments and constituents statewide to propose solutions to address the homelessness epidemic. The Governor will announce additional members of the Task Force and future meeting dates and locations in the coming weeks.

“I look forward to partnering with California Governor Gavin Newsom, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and other members of this Task Force to ensure that the State of California steps up its efforts in confronting the defining civic and moral crises of our time,” said LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “It is time for all levels of government to intensify our efforts, and take urgent and swift action to combat homelessness.”

The Task Force will consult with local and regional governments around the state to assess best practices and strategies and will deliver at least one annual report to the Governor on the work it performed to guide the creation of joint regional plans to address homelessness, including highlighting best practices and model programs at the local level.

Reporting by the Laist and the staff of the Los Angeles Blade.

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Community Services - PSA

LA County Parks should be your destination this Fall!

Make LA County Parks your destination this fall as you explore, engage and connect through our exciting programs!

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Summer is coming to an end soon, but the fun doesn’t stop here! LA County Parks presents an exciting slate of fun programming for the whole family this fall! Join us to create lifelong memories with your family. From recreation classes and nature center programs to sports and aquatics, there’s something for every body to enjoy. 
 
Check out some of our new programs, as well as community favorites that are back for another season! Join the fun starting September 6, 2022.

Fall22

LEARN MORE

Check out a few of our upcoming programs!

SPORTS FOR ALL
Days and times vary based on location
Program availability may vary by location
Pre-registration is required, register HERE

Sports for All clinic is a youth sports clinic is an 8-week skills development clinic that meets once a week for basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, cheer and other sports. Clinics focus on building foundational skills, self-confidence and teamwork.

EVERY BODY PLAYS DROP IN RECREATION ADVENTURES
Mondays – Fridays, 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Free drop-in program; No registration required

Every Body Plays is a positive space with a curriculum that is youth centered and designed for fun! This FREE drop-in program launches September 6, 2022 and runs until May 26, 2022. Children can enjoy a snack with their friends at select parks from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM. The program provides children ages 7-17 with access to caring and trained park staff who serve as mentors and lead an array of programs and activities, ranging from sports, fitness, arts and crafts, STEM, group games, story time and so much more. Every day is an adventure in LA County Parks!

FREE SNACK PROGRAM
September 6, 2022 – May 26, 2023
Mondays – Fridays; 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM 

Children and youth under 18 years of age are invited to receive a nutritious grab-n-go snack that includes vegetables, fruits, seeds and healthy dairy products like milk, string cheese, and yogurt. Created to help reduce the growing percentage of young people in the United States challenged by obesity or lack of consistent access to wholesome meals, the program aims to provide a healthy alternative for children when school is out. There are no meals served on County observed holidays.

NATURAL AREAS:

EVERY BODY EXPLORES
Tuesdays – Fridays,  2:30 PM – 5:30 PM & Saturdays 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Free drop-in program; No registration required

The Everybody Explores program provides participants of all ages an opportunity to check out a Naturalist field backpack they can use to complete self-guided activities, make observations and explore the park.

NATURE KNOWLEDGE NIGHTS
Dates vary by location, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Free drop-in program; No registration required

Spend an evening getting to know the beauty of the natural world at a Los Angeles County Nature Center. Activities vary based on topic but may include group activities, ESTEAM fundamentals, community science, nature hikes, guided tours or animal ambassador experience.

NATURE CENTER DISCOVERY
Every Saturday at select Nature Centers, 10:00 AM – Noon
Free drop-in program; No registration required

Each Saturday you’ll have an opportunity to meet our Nature Center Superintendents and learn about the park, history and the natural habitat around you, even meeting Animal Ambassadors native to the area! Find a Nature Center near you HERE.

You can also participate in our Saturday Morning Discovery Tables, where you and your family can explore table exhibits and “ask a naturalist” about the flora and fauna all around us. These exhibits will take place from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.

FALL RECREATION CLASSES
Dates, times and locations vary by class
Registration required. Register HERE

We teamed up with some of the best instructors in Los Angeles to bring you hundreds of classes for all ages, levels and budgets. Take a class at your local park for some fresh air or join virtual classes from the comfort of your own home! Whether you’re looking to be more active, learn a new hobby or take up a new skill or language, we have just the class for you and everyone in your family.

TRICK-OR-TREAT VILLAGE 
October 25-29, 2022 at several LA County Parks 
Dates and times vary by location 
Free; No registration required 
 
Join us for a fantastically spooky time at a park near you this October to enjoy free activities. Costumes are encouraged! More information coming soon. 
 
HARVEST FESTIVAL 
November 15-23, 2022 at several LA County Parks 
Dates and times vary by location 
Free; No registration required 
 
Families are invited to enjoy cultural celebrations that include food tasting, dancing, music, crafts and family activities. More information coming soon. 
 
EDDIE HEREDIA BOXING CLUB 
The Eddie Heredia Boxing Club has reopened! Do have what it takes to be a world class boxer? The Eddie Heredia Youth Boxing Club offers a variety of boxing classes geared to teach youth who are just beginning to learn the sport, to advanced classes for youths who are ready to spare and participate in competitions on a local, regional, and national level.

AQUATICS:

LEARN TO SWIM
Monday-Friday, Saturdays 
August 29, 2022 thru December 23, 2022
Times may vary by location, level and session
Pre-registration is required; register HERE

Swim Lessons teach core swimming skills including water safety, floating and technique for the four core swimming strokes. The program is designed to provide swimmers with a positive learning experience while steadily progressing through the core skills and strokes.  All levels are in alignment with the American Red Cross’ “Learn to Swim” Program.

EVERY BODY SWIMS
Saturday from 12:30pm – 2:00pm; 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Begins September 3rd, 2022

FREE Rec Swim is a fun and positive way to practice new skills, be physically active, keep your heart rate up, reduce stress and build muscle. Rec swim also provides an opportunity to socialize and make new friends.  Rec Swim starts September 3 and takes place on Saturdays from 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM and 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM.

SENIOR PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
Dates and times vary by location Free; No registration required

LA County Senior Centers, Programs and Activities are a great place for adults ages 60+ years to stay fit, active and to meet new people. Activities promote physical and mental well-being, socialization, nutrition, life-long learning and volunteer opportunities. Lean more HERE.

OUR SPOT
Monday to Friday 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Free program; Register HERE

FREE daily after-school program that supports positive youth development by exposing teens to caring mentors, social justice projects, leadership and artists experiences, early career exploration, substance abuse prevention, sports and physical fitness, and other opportunities meaningful to youth.  Teens participate in park advisory groups and contribute to the planning of field trips, events and social action projects.

… AND MUCH MORE! 

Follow us on Facebook @parks.lacounty.gov and Twitter & Instagram @lacountyparks!

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Community Services - PSA

Public help sought identifying patient at County-USC Medical Center

Anyone with information on the patient’s identity is asked to call Clinical Social Worker Cesar Robles at 323-409-6884 or 323-409-5253

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LA County-USC Medical Center

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services asked the public for help Tuesday in identifying a possible juvenile who has been hospitalized for nearly two weeks.

According to a news release the young male who could be in his late teens was dropped off at LA County-USC Medical Center on July 22. The patient was described as a male Hispanic between 16 and 20 years old. He is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 154 pounds.

The Medical Center described him as having a thin stature with short dark hair and brown eyes. The patient also has a tattoo of a cross under his right eye and another tattoo on his right hand.

No further information about the nature of the injuries or the condition of the patient was released.

Anyone with information on the patient’s identity is asked to call Clinical Social Worker Cesar Robles at 323-409-6884 or 323-409-5253.

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Community Services - PSA

LA LGBT Center & Public Health host virtual townhall on Monkeypox

Topics will include a situational update, vaccine eligibility, & preventative measures. The town hall will also include a Q&A with residents

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles LGBT Center will host a virtual town hall for the public on the topic of Monkeypox. Topics will include a situational update, vaccine eligibility, and preventative measures. The town hall will include the latest updates and a Q&A with residents.

WHEN:

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

6:00 p.m.

WHERE:

Visit:  lalgbtcenter.org/monkeypox to view the livestream.

Submit questions ahead HERE to have them answered during the livestream.

WHO:

  • Sonali Kulkarni, MD, MPH, Medical Director in the Division of HIV and STD Programs (DHSP) at the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Public Health
  • Nava Yeganeh, MD, MPH, Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician and Medical Director of the Vaccine Disease Preventable Control Program
  • Robert Bolan, MD, Medical Director of Research and Education, Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • David Herman, MD, Medical Director of Primary Care, Los Angeles LGBT Center
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