Broken families, mental illness and drug abuse are major factors in homelessness.
In addition to effective community-based public private partnerships, the religious community, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, AYSO, Little League, YMCA, YWCA, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs and other youth organizations, it is imperative that children are raised in a two-parent or single-parent households with strong role models, mentors and supportive family members for our youth to prosper as adults.
To address the homelessness problem, we need communities and programs that instill values and stability in young men and women, and laws that mandate that the seriously mentally ill receive the care they need.
A clear majority of the nearly 35,000 chronically homeless in Los Angeles County suffer from mental illness and/or addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Nearly 20 percent of inmates in ours jails are mentally ill and homeless. Reforms must include streamlining court processes, establishing realistic standards that allow judges to refer severely mentally ill people to receive treatment, and empowering families with greater access to participate in the treatment process.
Effective mental health treatment is vital for achieving long-term recovery and success. The Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the full implementation of Laura’s Law is a step in the right direction.
— Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Los Angeles County
The letter writer represents the 5th District on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors