ContactFor contact by phone, please call Union Rescue Mission’s phone center at (213) 347-6300 and ask for the person or department with which you wish to speak.
Union Rescue Mission
545 S. San Pedro St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Kitty Davis-Walker, Vice President
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Homeless Programs and Services for CalWORKs Families
The DPSS Housing Program offers a number of benefits and services designed to assist CalWORKs families who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness to move out of the current housing crisis into affordable permanent housing.
The benefits and services provided under the DPSS Housing Program are listed below:
To learn more about any of these benefits and services or to apply, visit the CalWORKs office nearest you.
CalWORKs Office Locations.
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The Los Angeles County board of supervisors voted Tuesday to appoint a new interim head of the public defender's office, despite criticism from defense lawyers that the new pick has no experience in criminal law and previously defended law enforcement officers.
Six attorneys from the public defender's office publicly told supervisors at Tuesday's board meeting not to appoint Nicole Davis Tinkham, saying she knew nothing about the office's work of representing indigent clients in criminal cases.
inRead invented by Teads
ADVERTISEMENTThe board unanimously approved Tinkham's six-month appointment without discussion.
In a letter sent to public defender's office employees last week, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said Tinkham had a deep appreciation for the agency's work and expressed confidence that she could "help bring much needed stability" to the office.
Tinkham, she said, would bring a team from the county counsel's office. Kuehl's letter said the board is also considering commissioning a management audit to learn more about the challenges facing the public defender's office.
Tuesday's decision is the latest move by supervisors to find someone to run the agency — the oldest public defender's office in the nation — which has been without a permanent leader for more than a year since Ron Brown stepped down at the end of 2016. Deputy public defenders represent an array of clients who cannot afford their own lawyers, including adults and juveniles accused of crimes and people facing civil commitments for mental health treatment.
In the days before Tuesday's vote, around 390 of the office's 650 attorneys signed a letter questioning Tinkham's nomination for the temporary position, said Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes, a deputy public defender with the office for 15 years.
L.A. child molester to be released after spending 17 years in state hospital awaiting trial
JAN 10, 2018 | 12:55 PMTinkham, who has been a lawyer in California since 2003, works as a senior deputy county counsel and has defended sheriff's deputies in several lawsuits against the county.
Christine Rodriguez, a 14-year veteran lawyer in the public defender's office, told supervisors she was astonished and disappointed that they would appoint a person who lacked hands-on experience representing indigent defendants in criminal court. She said the office needs a leader who can help shape criminal justice policy at a state level.
"I understand that the label's an interim and that it's temporary," Rodriguez told the supervisors, "but this is at a critical juncture in our criminal justice system. There are issues such as bail reform, mental health issues and juvenile justice issues that require attention at this very moment."
Tinkham replaces Kenneth I. Clayman, who worked as the interim public defender for four months.
In a statement to The Times, she said she plans to uphold the mission of the office while tackling its challenges.
"I intend to foster a collaborative approach that recognizes the expertise of the staff while also bringing my own experience and skills to the issues confronting the office," the statement said. "I will have no divided loyalty as I dedicate my time and energy to this interim position."
Prior to joining the county, Tinkham was a trial attorney and partner at the law firm Collins, Collins, Muir and Stewart for 14 years where she represented clients that included the Sheriff's Department.
In one of those cases, she defended a sheriff deputy who shot a 15-year-old boy brandishing a toy gun at deputies responding to a trespassing call, according to court documents.
After Tinkham joined the county, she worked on other cases defending sheriff's deputies.
Thomas Tyler, a deputy public defender for 19 years, said he is concerned that Tinkham's involvement in such cases creates a conflict of interest, making it harder for him to build trust among clients he represents.
"This appointment makes zero sense," he said in an interview after the meeting.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said the board last year offered the permanent head public defender position to two candidates. Each of them, he said, turned down the job for personal reasons. He did not identify them.
He said that the objections voiced at Tuesday's meeting over Tinkham's appointment would not be ignored.
"We listened carefully. Their concerns won't fall on deaf ears," Ridley-Thomas said.
Follow me on Twitter @melissaetehad
6:55 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement by Tinkham.
This article was originally published at 6:40 p.m.
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Los Angeles Times Metpro trainee Melissa Etehad is an Iranian American who enjoys writing about national and international issues. She received her master's in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in international affairs from UC San Diego and has reported from the Middle East and Europe. She previously worked at Al Jazeera English and the Washington Post's foreign desk, where she covered the intersections of politics, religion and gender. She’s a native Farsi speaker. On her free time, you can probably find Melissa petting dogs and reading the news.
L.A. homeless crisis grows despite political promises, many speeches and millions of dollars. How do we fix this?
http://nationalhomeless.org/FACES OF HOMELESSNESS SPEAKERS’ BUREAU
Request a Speaker in the Washington, DC metro or outside of the DC metro area.
Please note, as of January 15, 2016, the administrative fee has increased. For an event in the DC Metro area, the cost for 1 speaker will be $50 honorarium plus a $25 program fee for a total of $75.
We are also instituting a sponsorship program so that organizations with the ability and desire to do so can assist schools with fewer resources in bringing a Faces of Homelessness panel to speak to their students. If your organization is in need of sponsorship, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected.
NCH began 30 years ago at a convening of state and local organizations working together to ensure the right to shelter and access to affordable housing for men, women, children and families who were experiencing homelessness. NCH decided early on that it would be an organization that not only welcomed the participation of people who had experienced homelessness, but made certain that there would always be a place at the table for input and decision making.
Today, NCH delivers on that promise each and every day, most notably through programs like the Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau. Throughout NCH’s history, homeless led advocacy has worked to create lasting local solutions to the national problem of homelessness.
Looking for help right now? Click here for a list of helpful resources.
¿Necesita ayuda ahorita? Tenemos una lista de recursos en español.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 persons may be found homeless on any given night in Los Angeles County. Unaccompanied youth, from minors through age 24, with a heavy concentration in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up about 6,000 of these.
Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest percentages are in the central Los Angeles area (27%) and in South Los Angeles (16%). Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 8% are veterans. African Americans make up 40% of Los Angeles County's homeless population - disproportionately high compared to the percentage of African Americans in Los Angeles County overall (about 8 percent).
Other Facts About the Homeless Population in Los Angeles County:
RaceGeneral PopulationHomeless PopulationLatino48%35%
Other2%3%Source: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
Homeless Population Counts
By the Los Angeles Homeless Services AuthoritySince 2005, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, an agency of the City of Los Angeles, has conducted numerical and demographic counts of homelessness, not only within the city of Los Angeles, but throughout Los Angeles County. Over the course of three days in January, this count is conducted with the help of thousands of volunteers branching out throughout Los Angeles County.
Homeless Population Counts in Los Angeles County
All Los Angeles County & City of Los AngelesYearCity of Los AngelesAll Los Angeles County
2005---65,28753,42911,858Homeless Population Counts in Los Angeles County
By Service Planning AreasYearAntelope Valley
(SPA 1)San Fernando Valley
(SPA 2)San Gabriel Valley
(SPA 3)Metro LA
(SPA 4)West LA
(SPA 5)South LA
(SPA 6)East LA County
(SPA7 )South Bay/
Map of Los Angeles County Service Planning Areas
Percentages in tables that follow are against total homeless population for that specific geographic.
2017 Ethnic PercentagesCity of Los AngelesAll County of Los Angeles*African American16,080 (47%)21,921 (40%)
American Indian/Alaska Native325 (1%)713 (1%)
Asian283 (1%)607 (1%)
Hispanic/Latino10,422 (30%)19,391 (35%)
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander97 (0.3%)143 (0.3%)
White/Caucasian6,297 (18%)11,151 (20%)
Multi-Racial/Other684 (2%)1,262 (2%)
2017 Demographic CharacteristicsCity of Los AngelesAll Los Angeles CountyVeterans2,518 (7%)4,828 (8%)
Chronically Homeless Individuals10,617 (31%)16,916 (29%)
Chronically Homeless Family Members136 (0.4%)615 (1%)
Substance Abuse Disorder6,321 (20%)9,285 (18%)
Brain Injury3,301 (11%)4,691 (9%)*
Persons with HIV/AIDS897 (3%)1,160 (2%)
Serious Mental Illness10,617 (31%)15,728 (30%)
Physical Disability5,894 (19%)8,829 (16%)*
Developmental Disability2,104 (7%)3,213 (6%)*
Domestic Violence Experience11,277 (36%)17,945 (34%)* Accumulated numbers for all Service Planning Areas. These do not necessarily equal county-wide totals.
According to the 2017 homeless count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, there were in Los Angeles County 184 unaccompanied, unsheltered homeless minors (under age 18); 3,969 unsheltered transitional age youth (age 18-24) not in family units; 946 sheltered transitional age youth.
Source: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
Also see: Shelter Partnership, Inc
Is it less costly to help the homeless get off the street than to leave them there? Weingart Center, in a 2015 interview with Fast Company, proposed that an "investment" of $10,000 can help a homeless person obtain housing, food, job training and ultimately a job, along with support services to acheive that end. On the other hand, leaving a homeless person on the street costs Los Angeles an average of $35,000 each year in medical and emergency services, mental health care, social services and law enforcement. Jailing a homeless person pushes that cost up by a third.
Most people think of homelessness in terms of Steve Buscemi's character from Big Daddy -- creepy, potentially crazy people reaping the benefits of a lifetime of bad decisions. Well, in the summer and fall of 2009 in a little town in Montana, I was "lucky" enough to peer through a window at the world of chronic homelessness while experiencing some temporary homelessness of my own. Here's what I hope you never find out ...
It Doesn't Take Much to Wind Up HomelessJupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Read NextTrue Story: I Was A Hippie In San Francisco In The SixtiesQuick question: If you came home from work one day and found that your apartment was gone -- like if it got sucked into a portal to hell like the house at the end of Poltergeist-- where would you go? If you say you'd stay with family, what if you had just moved to a new state, away from everyone? If you say you'd crash at a friend's house, what if the only people you knew were your roommates in said apartment? If your answer is you'd go to a hotel, that might be fine for a night, but remember that the rates are 10 times what you were paying in rent, so good luck saving the cash you'll need to put down a deposit on a new apartment.
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images"Of course we accept cigarette butts and burrito receipts as legal tender."
Well, I didn't have an answer when the above happened to me (minus the portal to hell part). After three months in a new town, it turned out my roommate's rent checks had been bouncing, and my landlord never bothered to notify us until he showed up with eviction papers. I worked a job that kept me away for a week at a time, so one day I just came home to find all my possessions boxed up in the garage. It was as simple as that -- for the first time in my life, the sun went down and I had no idea where I was going to sleep. And it was the same for the next night, and the next week, and the next month ...
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AdvertisementI had moved to Montana after finishing up my worthless liberal arts degree. I moved in with some cool folks my age and started a six-month contract job. It was an AmeriCorps position with weeklong shifts working in the wilderness, building hiking trails and whatnot, followed by a week off to spend in town. I was halfway through my contract when I found myself homeless. There are people with worse stories, of course -- many homeless are mentally ill, or maybe their parents kicked them out of the house for being gay when they were teenagers -- the point is, the line between where you are now and sleeping in your car is much, much thinner than you think.
Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty ImagesSometimes it isn't so much a "line" as "peeing in your boss's coffee."
In my case, I could've been more wary of my housemates and had a better backup plan in place. But as I pointed out in the opening paragraph, very few of us do. You've had a home your whole life; you just take it for granted. Besides, it wasn't like I was unemployed, right? But as I found out ...
Having a Job Won't Save YouComstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images
So I didn't have a home -- but I had a car, so I had a place to sleep. And since I wasn't paying rent, I was pocketing the difference, which meant I could save up for a new place, right? Hell, it's so easy that you have to wonder why people bother being homeless at all!
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com"Have you considered a Prius?"
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10. Sleeping Bag
A sleeping bag – preferably one made of down because it is lightweight and very compact. This is the most vital piece of equipment you will need. You can either stash the bag, or carry it with you. Carrying it with you makes you more mobile because you can sleep wherever you end up. If you can’t get a good quality down bag, double bagging two poor quality ones will do the job (though definitely not as well).
Matting is also needed (preferably plastic and lightweight) – you must keep your sleeping bag off the ground away from the damp. If you can’t find or buy matting, at least make sure you put your sleeping bag on cardboard – putting it directly on the concrete will result in you feeling like you are sleeping on a block of ice. The cold can cause your back muscles to freeze up and numb and the result is that when you stretch in the night you can tear them – potentially leading to months of difficulty walking (and walking is what you need to be doing every day).
A backpack – consider keeping a smaller backpack for use during the day and a larger one that you can stash. You should keep in mind that some states in the US have “camping bans” which make it illegal to walk around the city with a large camping backpack. One homeless man was even refused service at Denny’s because they “do not serve people with backpacks” – clearly discrimination against the homeless – but you need to be aware of this. A small day backpack will spare you all of these problems.
You will need: soap, a toothbrush, razors, at the very least. These you should keep with you in your day backpack. It is also worth trying to score a mirror of some kind; just because you are living on the street doesn’t mean you can’t take care of your appearance – you will certainly find life easier when dealing with non-homeless people.
6. Useful Items
Some extra small items are very handy to have when you live on the street. For example, you will want a needle and thread to fix minor tears and loose buttons – this can save you a lot of trouble trying to find new clothes – especially in winter. You will also probably want a couple of pens or pencils (you never know when you might need these). It goes without saying that an essential item is a can opener – without one of these you limiting the types of food you can buy (and canned goods are often the cheapest). You will also want a pair of scissors which you can use for trimming your own hair, cutting your nails, and for any other task that may require the use of something sharp. A bottle opener and / or a corkscrew is also useful. And finally, a box of matches or a lighter is essential.
Most homeless people prefer to layer their clothes. This means you wear all of your various layers of clothes during the night, but as the day progresses, you can remove each layer successively. This allows you to keep cool when you need, and warm if it gets too cold. A good pair of leg warmers is recommended for wearing under your pants. In addition, you will need a good scarf and a hooded sweatshirt.
In summer you will need a baseball cap to protect you from the sun – this is essential to prevent you from suffering sun stroke and even potentially getting skin cancer from overexposure. It can also help to conceal a head of hair badly in need of a cut which can be very off-putting to people you may need to deal with. In winter you will need a good warm ski knit hat. A lot of the body’s heat escapes through the head, therefore this is one of the most important things you will need in winter.
You absolutely must have a good quality pair of shoes – especially in winter. If you have a hole in your shoe and your socks get wet, you will have a miserable few days with wet feet – this can, of course, lead to health problems that you want to avoid. If you do not have quality shoes, forget buying beer – use all the money you can muster to get good shoes without holes. Make sure you wear socks – shoes rubbing on the skin can cause lesions. One homeless guy in the local soup kitchen had been wearing dress shoes that were ill fitting without socks for months – his ankles were covered in festering sores which were being scraped by the shoes every time he walked. It was too late for him to do anything about it – don’t let this happen to you!
Plastic garbage bags are essential to life on the streets. They will be raincoats in winter, and protection from the sun in summer. You can use them to protect your matting from the wet ground. A tip for getting free bags: janitors in large buildings often keep spare bags under the garbage can for easy replacement when emptying. If you make sure you take just one or two per garbage can no one will notice and you will have a constant supply on hand. You will probably also want to keep a few smaller bags on hand just in case you have a need for them.
1. Miscellaneous extras
It is very important that you travel light – you want to keep your belongings to a minimum and the items above cover virtually everything you will need. Having said that, you should consider carrying a few other smaller items that can be invaluable. For example, priority mailing envelopes (free at the post office) are great for storing things and they are durable and water proof. You may also want to keep a bottle or two to store things like coffee. Forget things like flashlights – they are heavy, the batteries run out, and they show everyone exactly where you are – and you probably want to remain fairly anonymous and blend in on the streets.
Other Survival Lists
If you enjoyed this list, you might also like our other survival lists:
Top 10 Prison Survival Tips
Top 7 Zombie Survival Tips
Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Bear Encounter
Top 15 Shipwreck Survival Tips
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