Homelessness continues to be a major statewide problem impacting the health and safety of our citizens. To use an analogy, it’s as if the governor, state legislators, mayors, city council members and county supervisors across the state are watching the hamster wheel spin but not realizing the hamster is dead.
Homelessness will only be eradicated when there are mandated services for the mentally ill and rehabilitation for substance abusers.
Current law provides county public health departments the legal basis to close restaurants, commercial and residential properties to protect public health when public health is in danger.
Cities and counties need to direct the Contract Cities Association, the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the Southern California Association of Governments to demand Gov. Gavin Newsom to convene a special session of the Legislature to pass legislation mandating medical treatment for the homeless mentally ill and mandated rehabilitation for substance abusers living on the streets. This vital service would be provided through public-private partnerships.
The economic poor can be helped with housing and job training, but the mentally ill and substance abusers can only be helped by mandated treatment and rehabilitation.
Michael D. Antonovich
Former L.A. County Supervisor