There were 161,548 unhoused people in California in 2020, and that number only continues to climb, especially in dense urban areas such as Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Through our Housing Program, Pacific Clinics has the capacity to provide housing to more than 300 clients throughout the state, working closely with the clinical team to offer integrated care to address mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and basic needs.
Economic hardship and affordable housing are at the top of the list of factors for homelessness, followed closely by systemic racism and substance use disorders and mental health challenges, according to David Garcia, corporate director of housing.
“To treat mental illness in the homeless, you also have to be able to treat their housing needs. It’s a critical element of whole person care,” says Shawn Caracoza, chief operations officer.
On the affordable housing side of the equation in California, average rents cannot be supported by average wages.
“If we don’t fix this gap,” says Garcia, “there are going to be more and more people falling into homelessness… When there’s a lack of affordable housing, it affects everybody.”
At a community level, Johnny Avila, manager of permanent housing, says that individuals “can help by educating themselves on the myths [for instance, that anyone wants to be without a home] and facts about homelessness” — and volunteer locally.
“We believe housing is a human right, not a privilege,” says Garcia.
Contact us to learn more about our Housing Programs.