How treating housing as an investment supercharges the homelessness crisis

December 7, 2021

Originally published in the Los Angeles Times – December 7, 2021


To the editor: As a healthcare provider to people experiencing homelessness, I am pleased to see that this poll found a majority of Angelenos placed a priority on providing services to individuals living in encampments, and that they believed services like medical care should be provided.

People living on the streets are among our most vulnerable. On average, they die more than 20 years before people who have homes.

The current focus on reducing encampments will put the people at greater risk if it does not plan for continuity of medical care, especially as we head into winter and the threat of another COVID-19 surge looms.

Medical care must be an integral part of any plan to move people out of encampments. Outreach workers and medical staff must work closely together so our unhoused neighbors continue to have access to the healthcare they need.

Dr. Coley M. King, Venice

The writer is a physician and director of homeless services at Venice Family Clinic.