Plan Addresses Patient ‘Dumping’ in Downtown Los Angeles
Los Angeles County officials on Thursday proposed creating five regional homeless centers to alleviate the problem of "dumping" by hospital and law enforcement agencies in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The plan calls for a shelter in each of the county's five districts to serve as a 24-hour drop-off point where hospitals, police and care providers could deposit homeless people. The centers each would have 30 beds for short-term stays and offer mental health and substance abuse services.
The centers would cost about $7 million annually to operate (DiMassa/Winton, Los Angeles Times, 3/24). The centers are part of a larger $100 million plan to address homelessness in the county.
According to the proposal, the number of emergency department visits and incarcerations could decrease as new programs and services for homeless people are put in place (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 3/24).
County supervisors will consider the proposal April 4 (Los Angeles Times, 3/24).
Several broadcast programs reported on the alleged "patient dumping":
- KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?": The segment includes comments from Diana Bonta, vice president of public affairs for Kaiser Southern California (Olney, "Which Way, L.A.?," KCRW, 3/23). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- KPCC's "AirTalk": The segment includes comments from Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo (Mantle, "AirTalk," KPCC, 3/23). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- NPR's "All Things Considered": The segment includes comments from Regina Chambers, a Union Rescue Mission worker who assisted the patient, and Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry (Jaffe, "All Things Considered," NPR, 3/23). A transcript of the segment -- as well as surveillance video and photos -- is available online. The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.