Homelessness and the Saint Joseph’s Center
Several weeks ago my car was in the shop, and I walked home along the Pacific Coast Highway. Nearly every parked car, not too much of an exaggeration, was occupied by a sleeping young homeless person.
At last count, there were 58,000 homeless in Los Angeles County and according to the most recent count about 28,000 in the city of Los Angeles. We do not have enough housing, and because it is in such short supply, it’s increasingly unaffordable to the working poor. It has been rapidly getting a lot worse, and it does not need to be this way. Homelessness afflicts every sector from women and children, to college students, to young adults just out of foster care, to older persons who have lost their jobs, to people working in low wage jobs, to victims of domestic abuse, to persons with severe mental illness and serious substance abuse addiction.
Saint Joseph’s Center is based in Venice and South Los Angeles. It’s a multi-service center, and it works to provide outreach and engagement, housing, mental health, job training, nutrition and other support services to the homeless in neighborhoods on the Westside and in South LA. https://stjosephctr.org/programs/ For example, it’s staff are out on the streets and the Center will provide a hot meal, a shower, help finding affordable housing and support to stay in the housing. It will offer mental health and substance abuse services to those who need them. It will help train the homeless for local jobs in restaurants and the tech industry. Through their many services, they reached over 10,000 individuals in the last year.
The voters in Los Angeles City and County have approved local tax increases to fund efforts to end homelessness. For the first time, the city and county are making a concerted and coordinated effort to end homelessness. It cannot work, however, unless local communities are engaged and stay engaged in this effort.
What you can do to help? You can volunteer; you can contribute; you can donate food or clothing. https://stjosephctr.org/how-to-help/ You can help educate others. Please do it for our community.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin, Board Member, Saint Joseph’s Center.
Dated: March 23, 2018