Three months ago, Monica lost both of her legs. She was living in a tent homeless in Los Angeles. The weather dipped below 30 degrees. Monica didn’t have enough blankets. Her feet started getting purple. Monica waited a few weeks to go to the hospital. Both of her legs were amputated.
But her story gets worse. The hospital exited Monica back out to the streets without any support. Imagine losing your legs as a homeless person. Having to relearn everything including how to go to the bathroom, yet not having any help. Sadly, it’s very common for hospitals to dump homeless people back to homelessness.
We met Monica through USC’s Street Medicine Team, who we featured helping people on Skid Row. They have adopted Monica and are helping her with medical needs along with basic support. Their goal is to help Monica get prosthetic legs and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). But right now, they are helping her with day-to-day survival. Monica only receives food stamps.
On May 17th, Los Angeles lifts the RV towing ban and will start towing vehicles homeless people live in. Without this RV, Monica will be sleeping back outside on the sidewalk. Tens of thousands of vehicle residents will be displaced with no place to go. We are working on a video project to help homeless people get better health care. We will be featuring Monica’s story and how USC’s Street Medicine is helping her. Because that project will not be posted until the fall, we wanted to get something up now to help her and to show the public the real people living in RVs the city will start impounding.
Cities all over America are putting more resources into using homeless people out of sight than working to get people off the streets. With homelessness continuing to increase, the growing criminalization will make homelessness worse.
If you live in Los Angeles, here is a link for the City Council contact information broken down by district. Please click here to reach out to your legislators to demand they stop the sweeps.
Nationally, please support Housing Not Handcuffs
We all must advocate for more housing and support services and stop homeless sweeps at the local level. At the same time, we must continue to pressure state and federal legislators. Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.