No Smoking in Los Angeles Public Housing projects

LOS ANGELES COUNTY’S PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS BREATHE EASIER

Housing Authority Implements Ban on Smoking Throughout Its Public Housing Sites

Los Angeles – July 1, 2014 – Effective today, Los Angeles County’s public housing residents can breathe a little easier as their homes are now 100% smoke-free! The Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (Housing Authority) adopted a smoke-free policy for its 63 public housing developments to protect its 6,539 residents including families, youth, and 1,179 elderly and/or disabled, from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

To facilitate the transition of living in a smoke-free environment, the Housing Authority provided residents with a one-year transition period from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014. During this period, the Housing Authority conducted a systemized process of outreach activities to its residents, including educational workshops, surveys, and marketing campaigns. Through a partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, the Housing Authority received over $40,000 worth of smoke-free education and smoking cessation aids for its residents. DPH and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) American Medical Student Association also facilitated smoking cessation workshops at public housing developments where over 400 residents participated. During the one-year transition phase, more than 90% of the Housing Authority’s public housing residents voluntarily signed a lease addendum pledging their unit as smoke-free before the mandatory implementation deadline of July 1, 2014.

The U.S. Surgeon General warns that breathing secondhand smoke for even a short amount of time is dangerous. Children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, low-income, and other disadvantaged individuals and families are the most likely to suffer from breathing secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains chemicals known to be toxic; those exposed are at increased risk of heart attacks, lung cancer, and asthma.

Sean Rogan, Housing Authority’s Executive Director stated, “Today marks a special day for our public housing program. I am proud of the willpower of our residents to improve their quality of life, and their collective dedication to making their communities a much healthier place to live.” Due to the success of the smoke-free program, in June 2014, the Housing Authority received a Los Angeles County National Association of Counties Achievement Award for the implantation strategy of its “Smoke-Free Policy in Public Housing” efforts.

For more information on Housing Authority’s programs, please call (626) 262-4510. All media may contact Elisa Vásquez, Public Information Officer, at (626) 586-1762.

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Our adventure with near drowning and Arcadia Ca.

Yesterday Crisi saved Darla’s life and then the perks of employment and affluence kicked in to make what could have been a nightmare into a random parenting adventure.

Background :I have two daughters.  Jax is all grown and Darla is 3. As the first of my friends to have a child, I raised Jax without the benefit of a peer group for us. I also dropped out of college and went on welfare (Cal Works) while working cruddy part-time jobs and completing my degree. When she was ill – and when I broke my leg we used Medi-Cal aka Medicaid to pay for the hospital etc.  With Darla all that changed.

I have a group of Girlfriends from the Masons / Job’s Daughters/  De Molay who all have little girls . Darla is the youngest member of the Super Secret Sister Society (I named them this week while planning the party for yesterday) as she is 3 years old and Bella is 7 and the oldest.

Samantha watching the girls in the spa.

Darla in in the red suit with yellow floaties.

adult pool supervision

Becky from Oragami Owl, and Coleman are watching the kids and engageing with them

They had a swim party yesterday. I planned and planned it and nothing went as nm planned but everyone survived so I have no complaints. It could have gone so differently.

hot tub kids

Count the adults in this picture where Samantha chats with Sophia. You can see Darla’s floaties in the water

  1. I have great friends who all feel like Darla is their daughter and they take good emotional care of us. We are not alone.
  2. This happened in Arcadia, Ca.

Arcadia police and fire departments are the best. I’ve worked and lived in a few places so I like to think I’ve sampled the wares of other cities and states and so have come by this opinion.

Nick Paramedic from the Arcadia Fire Department

Arcadia Paramedic

  1. Dad pays the $40 or so a year Fire Dept insurance so paramedic calls are free. And those guys and the SWAT officer were at the house within seconds of my hanging up the phone.

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  1. Kaiser has a Web site so I could look up Darla’s health Insurance And Medical Records easily from my Verizon Samsung android phone.

If I were anywhere else and my daughter had swallowed and coughed out pool water I would not have called 911 and she could have “dry drowned”. But I called freely because I knew it would not cause financial hardship.

Kaiser insurance for myself and my daughters is a benefit through my job, and I affirm to you that I stay employed there because of the benefits.
Arcadia Methodist Hospital is a world leader in many area, but they also have a world class staff who were compassionate and patient and did everything they could so make the 3 hour visit to ER a positive experience for a toddler and her mom.

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I kept thinking of people in poverty who could not have afforded to be in a neighborhood with this level of care designed into it , nor could they afford to tap into it as a visitor (as I had).

Toddler in hospital bed

I’m cranky and critical but can honestly tell you that the only bad part if yesterday was my kid’s confession that she snuck into the pool on purpose because she did not like me telling her to get out of the water so I could go in the house and clean without worrying about her. She told the nurse at the hospital that she will follow directions next time because she did not like being stuck under water.

I asked Darla to get out of the water while I went into the house. She left the hot tub and all the adults assumed she would walk to the table and sit down. 3/4th of the way there Darla calmly walked down the steps into the pool. At the bottom step she was in up to her eyebrows and could not yell or get her head or nose over the water. As she moved her arms she made herself spin in circles under the water. Her eyes were wide. Crisi saw her under the water and asked if she was okay. When Darla did not respond, Crisi went in and pulled her out. Darla coughed out water and went quiet until she was handed to me. Then she started to scream. Because she had inhaled water – I called 911 to have her checked and they transported her and me to the local hospital. The ride was very much like the night she was born and we rode in an ambulance together then too.

My friends cleaned Dad’s house and brought my car and keys to the ER. We received a video from the kids at the party asking how Darla was. The neighbors not only came out to see the emergency services, they cared enough to come speak to me while I held Darla and sat on the gurney – and I woke up to email and texts from them too.

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All in all- it was survivable and I know enough to be thankful.

PS – Even though I was the only “single” adult there, please note the HAndsome people who crashed the party at the ast minute.

Faith in humanity : not restored

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I never lost my faith in humanity so I never needed it restored.

Yes, I have seen some nastiness and met monsters in human form. But those are individual people , they are not the entire species.

I could not do what I do if I didn’t see each person and gauge who they want me to see them as and also who I see them becoming.

Cranky. I sound cranky and occasionally mean, but I am not.
Working with poor and marginalized populations has to be done with a level of joy. Joy and love and faith in people are the best shields from burning out and depression.

Yes, some cases freak me out or momentarily depress me – but my faith in humanity remains in tact and well used.

This job, and also the job of being a mother, requires me to pick my attitude and be deliberate in my perspectives.

Human Trafficking Receipt

Slavery and human trafficking are serious and scary and usually not a laughing matter.

I saw this before I had coffee and had a moment where I wondered if actual humans were the items listed.

I may crop this and frame it as a reminder that no one can have their worth summed up in dollars.

Don’t leave your neighbors alone in a hot car

Don’t leave your neighbors alone in a hot car:

It is a link to a video. I talk about a client I had many years ago who lived in a car and raised her child in the car. She could not go to work or ever feel safe leaving her teen home alone because HOME =CAR. No privacy or security. Also, until recently it was illegal to sleep in your car or be stopped by police with camping equipment in your car. Don’t leave your neighbors alone in a hot car, or at the very least, try to understand and work to make this lifestyle no longer necessary.