Featured

Should $12 and a Knife Cost a Life?

A letter mailed in February was answered in September by Los Angeles County. It denied the release of a peaceful elderly prisoner who has served over 30 years for stealing $12 while holding a knife. Yikes.

Justice is not always just.

Covid-19 is in the prisons and jails.

Can we reform the prisons and legal system yet?

⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️📝⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️

Read his story in his own words:

https://inmatewisdom.blogspot.com/?m=1

LAHSA Winter Shelter 2020-2021

The Winter Shelter Program is held annually to
protect people experiencing homelessness
during Los Angeles’s colder months. Winter
Shelters are located all across the County, and
will be operating 24 hours a day this year due
to COVID-19.


To have access to the winter shelter program,
you must be:
At least 18 years old or older
Experiencing homelessness


1 FIND A SHELTER
On page 2 is a list of shelter
locations and their addresses.
Pick one that is close to you.
AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE WINTER
SHELTER PROGRAM?
2 CALL TO CHECK
AVAILABILITY
All shelters require you to call first
before coming. There are a limited
amount of beds at each site.
3 PACK YOUR BAGS
All shelters have a two (2) bag
restriction. Anything more will
not be allowed into the site.
4 FIND TRANSPORT
Transportation is limited – refer to
page 2 for sites that offer
transportation.

• Shelters will follow new “Safer at Home”
guidelines to keep everyone healthy and
safe indoors. This includes daily
temperature checks and staff conducting
a COVID19 screening questionnaire.
• Shelters welcome pets and emotional
support animals.
• Shelters serve 3 meals a day.
For more information, please call the
Winter Shelter Hotline 1 (800) 548-6047
or visit LAHSA.ORG/WINTER-SHELTER
For any inquiries, please email us at
wintershelter@lahsa.org

One of my favorite shows is @BandB_CBS The Bold and the Beautiful

there’s so much to like about the show including the fact that it’s set in Los Angeles and I like the characters and some of my favorite actors are on there but today we’re going to talk about something that really is personal to me.

Paris is a character that has returned to the storyline. She is currently studying to be a social worker focusing on homelessness and her hair is bright pink. I love this so much.

I see online that people are criticizing her about her hair.

May Nay, I say. She has this exactly right. The whole time I was in my master’s program at USC My hair was a rainbow of colors. during my graduation the Dean asked me where my purple hair was because I had it died back to normal for graduation pictures.

Dear wardrobe and casting and writers of Bold and the Beautiful, you got this one spot on. I’m very proud of you

There is actually a reason I had brightly colored hair when I went through. I was working the entire time whether it was at the county or for the university. But my hair was a variety of colors because during my internship at Mission Community Hospital I was doing group therapy at a partial day program. there was a lady who felt like nobody could connect with her and she was suicidal. She shaved her hair off and it had grown out to about an inch long and she kept changing the colors of it. She would say things like she deliberately dyed her hair color so that people would know she was different and she didn’t blend in but at the same time she felt bad that she didn’t blend in.

So I showed up with mermaid hair. And then I just went through every color I could find and every product I knew of. I used manic panic, L’Oreal’s colorista, and what I currently love which is @Overtone hair conditioner.

It worked. She saw me, a suburban mom with super funky hair and it gave us something to talk about. It also made me look less threatening and less scary. So there’s actually a function to it plus, why not.

These days my hair is still always some fun color but just at the ends so I can pop it into a puffy bun and hide all the color when I have to talk to you City officials.

Green on the tips.

Sharron Maasz

I always feel it’s a disservice to qualify somebody as homeless, but here it’s important.

This woman was a social worker and she was interviewed by a friend of mine who made a video about her life and her Living circumstances.

It is unfair that she has died homeless. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/nov/26/why-did-sharron-maasz-a-much-loved-outreach-worker-end-up-dying-homeless-herself?CMP=share_btn_tw

Each One ,Teach One

I am handing over my baby – the Homeless Housing and Recovery Project to a new Program Coordinator.

I am so used to my perspective on homelessness that I never took the time to think about how to explain it and teach it to others. When I was the project lead I made and enforced the rules until they became habit with the staff. Now I have to teach this to someone else who has more traditional views on homelessness.

That’s all well and good, but my approach kicks the LA Prop H funding’s butt.

Here are the basics

  • Every person deserves to be treated with dignity
  • We do not shame or blame people, we do ask them to see and accept responsibility for themselves
  • We do not perpetuate the “Victim Mentality” – meaning we do not bend rules, rescue or spoon feed solutions to folks – this cripples them and they don’t get the chance to be self sufficient
  • We speak honestly and plainly – rules are rules, plans have to be made, promises must be kept. Playing games is no way to help people. If you are more concerned with being beloved than being helpful: pick a new career.
  • There is a difference between being homeless and crashing for free when you have the ability to be housed.
  • Help people to make plans and execute them
  • Ending homelessness is a full time job. Get up every day, shower , dress and work!
  • Plan your work and then work your plan.
  • Become an expert in the housing and jobs markets
  • Don’t assume that becoming homeless cancels out all the skills and knowledge you have.
  • People are worth more than their bank account or social strata
  • Family relationships can be mended if everyone agrees on the breakdown
  • Sobriety is tenuous. Everyone must be tenacious in pursuit and preservation of sobriety
  • Forgiveness is key.
  • Educate without shaming or punishing.
  • Don’t get a power trip

Old hands and the guitar

Today I sat down with a gentleman I’ve been trying to talk to you for months. he usually doesn’t speak to me because he can’t. he is so busy dealing with the voices in his head and waving them off and talking back to them that he can’t interact with other people.

Every time I see him he is watching music videos on YouTube and playing air guitar. So today, I brought in my guitar.

His eyes opened wide and he looks right into my face as his hands reached out like a candy grabbing baby. then he scolded me for having such a dirty instrument and made me get a damp rag so he could wipe it down.

We talked about his hobbies and he offered to teach me how to play the guitar but said that first he needed to be alone with the instrument and could I please leave

#adventuresinSocoalWork

Desperate Quiet Dignity at Project Roomkey

I am sitting at the Sportsman’s Lodge in SFV just by the entrance.

To my right are a handful of round dining tables with umbrellas. Resting there are women and men, leaning back and smoking. What are they smoking? Your guess is as good as mine, the air is pungent with a mix of nicotine and marijuana.

Occasionally someone skitters over to a corner and others slowly follow to engage in a transaction – something for drugs.

Laughter burbles and erupts as the table sitters watch and gossip.

Purposefully a few folks stride by – off into the world on a mission. A skinny youth with a guitar on his way to a gig, a chubby man off to work at a store, a girl on her way to teach yoga in the park.

From within the gate by the housing staff a scream of rage travels to me. An older man is yelling “I hate this place, I don’t know which one of you done did it, but on my first day you stole my watch. Every time I sit on the toilet you knock on my door. I am f***ing miserable!”

Dogs and their owners stroll by- some pups stopping and straining for the petting of the security guards.

A few folks approach me to ask if I can give them a free telephone or if I am here from the Unemployment office. When my answer is “No” they stay to chat for a few minutes before fading back to their lives.

There is an air of desperation here. In 2 months this Project Room Key site will close and folks will have nowhere to be and they will head back to the streets for the coldest part of California’s year. They have survived Covid in this location but will die of exposure and desperation.

Kindness in action

As this lady was walking around and looking for cigarette butts and change on the ground, the local bus pulled up. A woman who works at a restaurant exited the bus with a bag full of individual sizes and servings of soup.

She smiled and waited patiently to be noticed and offered soup to our friend in the bunny ears.

It’s lovely to see kindness in action

Study: California’s homeless students could fill Dodger Stadium 5 times | KTLA

https://ktla.com/news/california/study-californias-homeless-students-could-fill-dodger-stadium-5-times/

This breaks my heart. Each of these students has a parent, so 10 Dodger stadiums filled with young families.

%d bloggers like this: