Carla Brown moved into her one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood last summer. She loved having a place to decorate for the holidays, but after years of bouncing between shelters and the streets, keeping up with housekeeping has made the transition hard.
Brown still has moments when she wishes she could grab a tent and return to her old life. But at the end of the day, she wants to stay in her new home, so Brown’s been meeting with Julian Prado, an occupational therapist provided by Los Angeles County. She said the two laugh and joke with each other.
“He tries to help me out the best way he can,” Brown said. “He’s amazing.”
The help is part of a new LA County team that assists formerly unhoused people with living skills, like keeping clutter under control and personal hygiene, so residents avoid eviction — and don’t slip back into homelessness. Occupational therapists, who focus on cognitive and physical disabilities, are often associated with schools and health facilities, but their skills can fill a gap in homeless programs.