Providing the right kind of housing at the right time is essential to help unsheltered Angelenos transition from life on the street into a better situation. Often they need help with substance abuse or mental health issues, and providing these services is key to their success. That’s why I launched the successful Tarzana Treatment Centers and Providence Tarzana Medical Center Homeless Housing and Recovery Program (HHRP) program in 2019, to help and house unsheltered people with intake in the Emergency Room. While we can’t let requiring treatment or sobriety be a barrier to housing under federal fair housing rules, finding a good match for housing once someone exits a 30 day program to get sober has proven very challenging.
We have heard from the lived experience of people on the street, including during our Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority 101 freeway pilot that housed 59 people in fall 2020, that people with addiction often want to get clean, but there are too few options for government supported housing that enables them to stay sober once they do. Today the City Council approved my motion to direct the CAO and LAHSA to find a way to fund housing that encourages sobriety to meet this need.
Not all homeless people have addiction issues, but many do. Even under the best of circumstances, recovery from alcohol or drugs is an uphill battle and many people relapse before they succeed. Providing housing they want, which includes a community of like minded people who are trying to get sober, can help them succeed.
My goal is to have an appropriate housing placement available for all unsheltered people in my district, and housing that supports sobriety is one piece of the puzzle we need to solve.
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