Immigration raids I’ve been happening and everyone’s concerned.

This is information from one of my neighbors.

“​Just want to share some information that I learned at a staff meeting today. LAPD and Congressman Cardenas office spoke at this meeting regarding immigration relations. Here are the highlights…

  1. LAPD does not get involved in asking for immigration status and doesn’t care. If you have a warrant pending they will take u in if youre an immigrant or not.
  2. Some parents have stopped sending their children to school out of fear.
  3. LAPD is upset because ICE are using uniforms that say POLICE on it. Chief Beck has asked their dept to remove it and they have failed to comply.
  4. In the last 2 months ICE has made about 60 detains just in the San Fernando Valley.
  5. It is true that they have gone to Home Depot to make detains. Usually they are going after someone in particular but whoever is around has a chance to be detained.
  6. Some kids have been put into Foster homes because parents have been deported. They suggest to have paperwork done stating who you leave legal custody to to watch your kids. Some families are having their kids get dual citizenship just in case.
  7. Under Obama there was a 2 tier system when going after immigrants. Tier 1 were the Felony crime offenders and Tier 2 had less charges like a misdemeanor or DUI. Under new administration there is no distinction. They consider a criminal a criminal.
  8. If you have any questions or need guidance on legal representation or saw something thag didnt seem right call Councilman Tony Cardenas office at 818-221-3718 
  9.  If youre illegal and have pending anger management courses or DUI or anything that the court has asked you to do and havent…GO TAKE CARE OF IT before it becomes a warrant so there is no reason to pick you up.
    Hopefully this info will help someone!”_ Fran Fuentes

Wealth vs Worth in 1 Picture

In “the Bible Corrected by God” God is changing the captions of the rich to “poor” and vice versa.

It was super windy in Los Angeles last night. The screen blue off of my bedroom window. As I walked across my front yard and then started trying to try to catch up with the tumbling metal Square I took a moment to realize that I was so lucky to even have a window or home. I wonder what it must have been like for the people living in their tents that have their tents try to blow away with the only wait and then grounding them down be their bodies.

Do the people who were blown about last night deserve comfort and security? I like the think that they’d you deserve those things they just can’t afford those things. And when we make a list of things are entitlements that everybody should have, I like to think that housing is one of those things that we should make if not a human right, an “American Right”.

I live in the country of the greatest innovators of the world. This is the country where the assembly line comma the modern car, light bulbs, stop signs, peanut butter, super computers, and the internet or dreamed of, created, and brought into reality. I simply don’t understand why we can’t build basic housing for everybody. A basic starter level housing even if it’s long project like rooms connected one to the other so that people have a roof and walls and access to indoor plumbing. It wouldn’t be a place where people would want to live but it would be a place where they could live and I’m starting pad to move up from or a safety net to land in. Nobody here needs to be homeless. We have a great deal of unskilled workers and an educational system which seems bent on keeping them on skills. We have Warriors returning from the Armed Forces who need something to do. Building these types of housings would keep them employed and give them skillful and gainful trades.
People who are housed are less likely to be sick and to call nine-one-one or two need to go to the emergency room or two be a burden on the taxpayers dollars. The money we would invest in simply housing people will come back to us in savings over and over again.
I live in a country where we were told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps but we were also told to do to one another what we would want them to do to us and we called that the Golden Rule. Maybe our next step should be to put boots on our neighbors and help them pull up their bootstraps.

The US Debt is $19.3 Trillion Dollars:Blame the Poor People

This always gets me. A sweet girl (Amy Cudworth)  I knew in Jr. High posted a rant about how families could and are abusing the welfare system and she personally is paying for them.

Dear Amy, your simple knee jerk reaction was to look at the most visible consumers of American Tax Dollars and assume they are draining us dry. They are using the tax dollars and therefore are evil, bad, and are to blame for the economy.

Whoa, that is a lot of judgement and anger to be tossing around.

So Amy C., this is for you.

So let’s look at what an Average Californian pays in taxes and where those dollars go:

An “average Californian” paid $15,496 in Federal Taxes

Health $4,444.88
* Includes $2,029.08 for Medicaid
* Includes $53.56 for Children’s Health Insurance Program
Pentagon & Military $3,932.56
* Includes $842.38 for Military Personnel
* Includes $108.44 for Nuclear Weapons Wait, I don’teven want to own nukes!
Interest on Debt $2,117.06
Unemployment and Labor $1,240.79
* Includes $92.48 for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – AKA Welfare
* Includes $35.11 for Job Training and Employment Programs
Veterans Benefits $919.34
* Includes $404.48 for Payments for disability, death, etc.
* Includes $368.58 for Veterans Health Administration
Food and Agriculture $713.69
* Includes $441.72 for SNAP (food stamps)
* Includes $42.19 for Federal Crop Insurance
Education $550.21
* Includes $183.26 for Pell Grants, Work Study, and other Student Aid
* Includes $129.96 for Elementary and Secondary Education
Government $449.98
* Includes $73.12 for U.S. Customs and Border Protection
* Includes $40.87 for Federal Prison System
Housing and Community $298.03
* Includes $57.87 for Head Start and Related
* Includes $11.02 for Homeless Assistance Grants
Energy and Environment $247.55
* Includes $50.15 for Environmental Protection Agency
* Includes $10.89 for Energy efficiency and renewable energy
International Affairs $231.59
* Includes $46.05 for Diplomatic and consular programs
* Includes $40.15 for Global Health Programs
Transportation $179.61
* Includes $29.89 for Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
* Includes $6.56 for Federal Aviation Administration
Science $170.70
* Includes $102.64 for NASA
* Includes $39.44 for National Science Foundation

TOTAL $15,496
US AVERAGE $12,978


You paid $596.65 into programs someone on Welfare would access; or basically 4.09% of your tax dollars went to people on Welfare

31.31% of your taxes went to the military funding and veterans.

That 4.09% is going into programs where some of the recipients ALSO pay taxes, and the hope is that they will rejoin the workforce and pay taxes at the same rate that you and I do.

Those programs keep people alive and fed. They house and feed children who can’t work. They reduce crime by reducing the desperation of the very poor.

And in the scenario that was posted – I would refer you to SNOPES  to address the article that says (ORANGE parts are my contributions)

How to get $75,000 in benefits every year from the US Government for you and your girlfriend?

Follow these proven and simple steps.

First … get a girlfriend…
1. Don’t marry her.
2. Use your mom’s address to receive your mail.
3. The guy buys a house. (Then guy sells house to pay fines for his crimes when convicted)
4. Guy rents out house to his girl girlfriend who has 2 of his kids.
5. Section 8 will pay $900 a month for a 3 bedroom home.(Section 8 lists are closed in LA. They regularly check your income to move you out ASAP)
6. Girlfriend signs up for Obamacare so guy doesn’t have to pay for family insurance. ( That is not how that works. Do you mean Medi-Caid or MediCal?)
7. Being a single mother, Girlfriend gets to go to college for free! (I was a single mother and I totally had to pay for my own college. I am in Grad school and STILL paying!)
8. Girlfriend gets $600 a month for food stamps (every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 of economic activity – according to the USDA)
9. Girlfriend gets free cell phone from US Government  (The LIFELINE phone? It breaks and is only good for 1 year)
10. Girlfriend get free utilities. (From Whom? How do you even do that?)
11. Guy moves into home but still uses mom’s house to receive mail.
12. Girlfriend claims one kid and guy claims one kid on taxes. Now you both get to claim head of household at $1,800 credit. So you think the IRS won’t see you are living with your mom when she files taxes? Are you the father of the child? I am so confused. Is she working and even eligible to file for taxes?
13. Girlfriend gets disability for being “crazy” or having a “bad back” at $1,800 a month and never has to work again.(so why was she going to college? she can’t use that degree nor can she collect educational loans and grants while permanently disabled.)

This plan is perfectly legal and is being executed now by millions of people. except that it is not, and it is not. 

A married couple with a stay at home mom yields $0 dollars. An unmarried couple with stay at home mom nets $21,600 disability + $10,800 free housing + $6,000 free obamacare + $6,000 free food + $4,800 free utilities + $6,000 Pell Grant money to spend + $12,000 a year in college tuition free from Pell Grant + $8,800 tax benefit for being a single mother = $75,000 a year in benefits.

Any idea why the country is 18 + trillion in debt?

So basically, your argument is flawed, your premise is unrealistic, and you are a better person who is smarter than this.

Breaking Barriers – from jail to housing

I often hear that we should let our homeless live in jails and our criminals have to scrounge in the street.

How about if no person had to live in the street? Could we try that?

As we’ve discussed,crime impacts at least 3 causes of homelessness. Now here is a program designed to keep the freshly released prisoners in homes and out of cardboard boxes.

The truth about Minimum Wage

“Common Sense” – aka knowledge held by the common man fails in this argument. The LA City Council studied 3 peer reviewed studies before increasing minimum wage. I don’t know what they read – but here is some of what I found.


Neoclassical economic theories present a clear prediction: as the price of labor increases, employers will demand less labor. However, many recent studies testing this prediction have found very small to no effects of the minimum wage on the level of employmentfrom Texas A&M (where my dad went) 


Does increasing the minimum wage lead to job losses? What does economics literature say?

Based on the economic multiplier effect that results from putting additional income in the hands of lower-income workers, raising the minimum wage will likely have a modest but positive impact on job creation, leading to an additional 85,000 net new jobs when fully phased in.


If I see one more armchair Economist tell me differently I am going to ask them what they think happens when you blow in between 2 balloons. They will say they separate and I will say they touch. Sometimes what seems like the logical answer must be put to the test to find the truth. 

Image result for $15

That Time I Lead a Freeway Chase With a Crazy Man in My Car

This morning I was talking to one of the parents at my little kid’s school. He asked why I assumed the helicopter sound from when my Scion blew a tire was an actual helicopter – did I have a guilty conscience? Um, yes. Yes I do.

As a case manager at LMP Community I used to drive clients to appointments, to run errands, or just out for coffee. Often I did this in my own car.

Driving mentally and emotionally unstable adults carries some risk. Once, as I drove over the bridge to White Memorial, a man went to grab the steering wheel and said he could flip us off the bridge and we would tumble into the street below like an Oreo: white, and black and white and black; not as sweet.

One day I was out and about with Tommie. Long before this date I had earned his trust and respect by fixing his toes.

Can we take a moment here to bet that when Jesus was advocating washing people’s feet, none of the feet he touched had a big toenail that turned on a 90 degree angle and traversed the width of the foot? If Jesus had encountered Tommie’s feet there would have been a new book called “Eww, Gross!”

Tommie was a large and affable man with an intellect of a 5th grader, a violent temper and was a pathological liar – which is to say, he was pretty much my average client and I was very comfortable with him.

Tommie, Carl and Donald on Stanford Avenue  - part of Los Angeles's Skid Row
Tommie, Carl and Donald on Stanford Avenue – part of Los Angeles’s Skid Row

So anyway, we are on the 5 freeway when Tommie saw a Highway Patrol car and became agitated. He began ranting and frantically waving his arms while talking about how we had to “Evade the po-po” or he would be “shot by a firing squad” because he was a Vietnam deserter. He was sweating and look authentically scared.  In what became the very last time I let anyone ride in my passenger seat, Tommie grabbed the wheel and we wobbled out of our lane – grabbing the attention of the very CHP he wanted to avoid. The CHP moved in behind my vehicle as Tommie lost his grip on reality. He started shouting that he wanted to “go out” on “his terms” and he would kill himself before being arrested again while he lunged to take control of the car. I was smacking away his hands, trying to drive, and pulling all the way to the left hand lane to the exit for 7th street. The CHP followed. I flew down the off-ramp and into a construction zone lined by big-rig trucks where I tucked my little Scion in between two large trucks and turned off the engine.

Those were three of the longest minutes of my life.

I slapped my hand over Tommie’s mouth and whispered for his to “shut it!” and threatened him if he bit me. I did not know if the CHP would care that I had to outrun them or risk death. I imagined my 11 year old daughter watching a prolonged car chase on the news and watching me drive through down town Los Angeles while eating popcorn.

Ten minutes later I restarted the car and drove across the 6th Street Bridge. The CHP was sitting on the bridge facing the direction we came from .There was no break in traffic for him to turn around and follow us. I threw up my hands while shrugging and drove directly back to the shelter where I had to run to the bathroom and wash my face.

So, yes. When I hear the flippityslap of a blown out tire, I think Police Helicopter and not “car problem” because I have outrun the authorities at least once.

Yes. There are many homeless children in Los Angeles.

I can tell that homelessness in children has increased dramatically. I know this because I work with homeless parents and my case load has grown and grown like a weed.

No. There are not enough shelters for families.

Yes, children are sleeping in boxes, on sidewalks, in parking lots, in parks, on kitchen floors, on sofas and all manner of places not fit to house them.

Is it the parent’s fault? No. Yes. And no.

Parents without education because they left school as children will not have the education and skills to hold high earning jobs. Don’t blame the drop-outs:evaluate the schools.

Parents are the CEOs of families. The buck stops with them. But…realistically: what are the pathways out of poverty for them.

Last week a friend accused me of love getting the government system I work inside of. She meant it as an insult, but it didn’t insult me.

Job training
Assistance with job searches
Work experience
Therapy for mental health, substance use and domestic violence
Funding bus passes to get folks to these things
Assisting get with the cost of education

Yep. I love that these are available a day I’m happy to be able to offer them and help people navigate out of poverty.

But as a society, we still hate poor people. We punish them. We look at keeping the minimum wage down and then blame people for not affording housing.
We foreclose so many homes that there are more empty homes than there are individual homeless people. There is a vacant home for every man, woman, and child in the USA.
We don’t make education enjoyable or easy attain
Forget affording higher education .
We give money to the rich and remove tax breaks for middle class and the poor
Our middle class mistakenly sides with the 1% because… I don’t know. Do they think that if we throw money at the über rich that the elite will invite us I to the club and stuff dollars down our shorts?
Child tax credits are about to evaporate
Health care for not super poor and not financially soluble families is unreachable in some states because…why?

I see all of the poverty bashing and hear all the cutting and snide remarks about uneducated, or unemployed, and /or unfocused people and then I read articles where people are shocked that kids are living in the streets.

homeless in the USA
Born Homeless in the USA


Cause and effect, folks.

We need to create jobs.
Return jobs from their outsources homes.
Keep people in school
Offer education to pare ts when their children are in school

Invest back in America.
Or, don’t invest I your neighbor and if you choose that path, stop complain OK great about the increase in number of poor families and individuals.

Los Angeles County DPSS is a mess


I am sure the system means well, but @countyofLA  @dpss_calfresh is freaking me out.
I can’t figure out how to close the SNAP case or update my information. I am locked out of the online system and calling this number ALWAYS results in a termination message of “We can not find your information. Good bye”.

I never had a chance to do more than request my Language choice before the system threw me out.

I have attempted to email the worker I applied through at MEND. I also attempted to fax a SAR but the fax did not go



Why don’t we have an Ombudsman for these Federal-state County benefit sefvices?

How can I apply?

It has been my experience that the Board of Supervisors are wonder, effective people. All of the County Employees believe in the programs they work in. Somehow, there is a disconnect and the systems are set up for failure. Right now I feel like the failure for not being able to navigate the system.

Death on Crocker St -revisited

Death on Crocker St.

This is my throwback Thursday link. Living out in the element with no shelter, sunblock, reliable nutrition, healthcare, clean toilets, leads to a shortened life.


Thousands of years ago humans had a shorter life span.

In third world countries people died like this.

But this is in Los Angeles :my favorite city in a 1st world country.

Could someone please explain to me the reason this is happenening?

Why Food Stamp Users are Angrier About Foodstamps Than You Are

Remember when I was out sick from  work for over a month? At the end of that time period I didn’t know if Disability would ever come in or when I would be released to go back to work. I went to M.E.N.D. and applied for foodstamps. This was in the beginning of March 2014.

It is now May 2014 and I just now received 3 separate pieces of mail.
1. I qualified for Cal Fresh (food stamps)
2. The card came in the mail
3. A pin number was sent to use with the card.

I am fortunate that when I was pulled from work that u had a pantry of food and WIC to provide fresh milk, juice, and fruits for Darla. Also, i have family i could borrow from. And yes, I went back to work and have been paid so I could grocery shop.

There is no way I could have survived for two months without access to food.
What is the County of Los Angeles doing this whole time?

Come on County, get it together.
Poor hungry people need these benefits as promised.

I no longer wonder why my clients have such bad attitudes. I am angry and I work in the system.

  1. The application process is confusing.
  2. There is a massive waste of paper in forms and mailed notifications
  3. There is no “status update” process
    4.forms to update the County of a change in circumstance are not easily accessible to the client. (I am fortunate enough to know how to ask for the forms…and then found out I should have notified the county within 10 days of returning to work even though it took them 50 or more days to notify me of my status.)
  4. No Users Guide is given to people detailing what is an eligible purchase or stressing the important fact that coupons can be used with food stamps.


Dear Los Angeles County and Department of Agriculture (they are responsible for the SNAP /foodstamps/Cal Fresh programs… Please think about what I am telling you.

And if you are infuriated at the store by someone using a food stamp payment because you think they are lazy scum who shouldn’t need your less than 2% of the Federal Budget , understand that even I qualified for food stamps. And yes, I know I need a job where I don’t qualify for WIN because as a County Contractor my pay is horribly low (especially since I have 3rd the caseload of anyone else here)
To see if you qualify : http://www.benefitscal.orgapply for California benefits