“America has 140 million people who live under the poverty line; 62 million are white, 78 million are brown and black”
Just in Reach
On the streets of Los Angeles, thousands of homeless people are living with untreated mental health issues. On any given day, nearly 50,000 people are living on the street. Encounters with police are constant leading to a revolving door of arrest and release back to skid row to arrest again. Opportunities for the help needed are sadly limited. For some jail is preferable.
The Office of Diversion and Re-entry, under the Department of Health Services, offers a chance for a combination of permanent housing and appropriate health services tailored to individual needs.
The goal is diverting high risk individuals with psychiatric conditions, substance abuse issues and chronic medical problems into the appropriate services.Students have a caseworker available for the duration of their lives. By providing housing and health services, court costs, policing costs, and emergency room costs are greatly reduced. Public safety is increased, enabling an opportunity to right some wrongs.
Just In Reach is a provider for Jail In Reach that serves up to 350 Los Angeles probationers. It is a pay for success initiative that is funded based on successful outcomes. In addition to housing and mental health services, it connects people to healthcare, education, job readiness, and employment services.
This year Just In Reach has served over 2300 people with nearly 500 in permanent housing.
A typical story of success is about “Stephen” who was diagnosed with mental and physical health problems. He lost his home and turned to crime to feed a drug habit. He was bouncing between homelessness and incarceration for over ten years until he was diverted to Just In Reach in 2016. He has since remained healthy and permanently housed with the Baldwin Village community.