Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles: The Dignity of Choice

By Laura J. Nelson

The second of a two-part series on the services provided by Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles.

imageThe gravelly squeak of a shopping cart’s wheels against the cracked sidewalks of Skid Row pierces the hot silence of a March day in Los Angeles. In the middle of the handful of streets called the epicenter of the Los Angeles homelessness epidemic, only a handful of cars pass by, and no pedestrians.

Inside the Center for Harm Reduction a block away, it’s even quieter.

The building, next to the Los Angeles Needle Exchange, houses an array of programs designed by non-profit Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles to help the homeless cope and adjust to their new lifestyles once they’re off the streets.

“We see people on the streets at the Beverly building, we meet people coping with drug issues at the Needle Exchange, and here, we’ve progressed to people who are in the aftermath of all that turmoil,” said Delia Mojarro, the Community Assessment Service Center director for HHCLA. “We saw this program as a missing piece to all the services that we offer.”

On opening day at the end of March, almost no one came in. But in the two months since CHR’s annex opened, more than 15 people have begun working with a case manager. Once the center is in full swing, case managers predict a load of more than 100 clients.

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