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Skid Row, Los Angeles (Photo: Evan Symon for California Globe)

Crystal Meth Pipe Distribution To Addicts, Homeless Draws Increased Criticism In LA

‘If they had been doing this while I was homeless and living there, I would never have left – I would have died in the street’

By Evan Symon, May 11, 2023 5:27 pm

A non-profit program in Los Angeles that passes out crystal meth pipes to addicts for “safety” continued to receive criticism on Thursday as more leaders and members of the public have come out publicly against the practice.

According to reports, members of Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles primarily distribute these in the Skid Row area of the city. Riding in golf cart, they then pass out crystal meth pipes to the homeless and addicts who want them. While the action has brought outrage, the non-profit, as well as some drug addiction healthcare workers, have said that the service is essential as it is a safety issue and reduces harm.

“A lot of people compare it to clean needle programs,” explained Paul, a health care worker in LA who deals with many addicts on a weekly basis, to the Globe on Thursday. “You get the wrong pipe, or reuse one someone else had, or something similar, and that can be death. There could be enough fentanyl in there left over to cause an overdose, or it could spread Hepatitis C or HIV. So new pipes being handed out corrals that.”

However, despite some claims for safety, the program is seeing increased criticism from city leaders, residents, and even those on Skid Row wanting to to improve their lives.

“If they had been doing this while I was homeless and living there, I would never have left. I would have died in the street,” explained Michael Ramirez, a former homeless man and meth addict in LA who currently assists in addict recovery in the Inland Empire, to the Globe on Thursday. “Clean needles are one thing. Those are still controversial, but in the end they come with more positives than negatives due to how many junkies would share needles.”

“But smoking meth is a different animal entirely. The way meth users smoke, it doesn’t really make sense to pass out pipes like this. People have their own and it’s not something you really share. It’s not like needles where you throw it wherever, with pipes you take it with you or smash it on the ground.”

“Also, it enables users to keep doing it and only worsens peoples addiction. I only got off, in part, because I couldn’t get a reliable pipe and went into treatment because I was tired of trying to find a way for the next hit. If someone just gave me a new pipe, hell yeah I’d use again.”

A local resident, Amber, also told the Globe that “When you walk around there, you’ll see those broken pipes everywhere. It’s shocking that people are actually doing this. Enabling drug use is not helping them. It’s not Homeless Healthcare. It’s homeless health-harm. I mean, even San Francisco doesn’t do that. We need groups here that can be part of the solution and help those in need. They are doing the opposite of that.”

Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles, according to the latest reports, currently receives $11.9 million a year in government funding. This means that the pipes are, at least in part, paid for by taxpayers.

“That is wrong,” continued Paul. “These people should get no funding from us as long as they’re doing this. Helping people with their addiction does not help the homeless. Food or shelter or, you know, treatment would be much better alternatives. They’re just making it worse for people in this situation.”

As of Thursday, HHLA has not yet responded to numerous media requests for a comment on their pipe program.

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10 thoughts on “Crystal Meth Pipe Distribution To Addicts, Homeless Draws Increased Criticism In LA

  1. These progressive politicians and civil servants never learn from their mistakes. They double down on outrageous, failed policy and tell the public this is what is proven to work, without any credible evidence!
    All Los Angles would have to do is look to their ugly step sister up north. S.F. already played that game and lost. They are now shutting down their drug assist centers.
    You know what they got for their half baked idea? More druggies, more crime and more excrement on the sidewalks,

    P.S. Follow the money. The Biden administration encouraged this program! You can thank Joe and his meth head son for this one!

  2. I thought I was unshockable but this managed to shock me when I heard about it. Of COURSE it enables addiction, which it seems to me is no accident. “Homeless Healthcare L.A.,” this so-called “non-profit,” takes in millions in govt funding, an amount that has been increasing every year, and it is actually a very good example of one of the parasite Homeless Industrial Complex groups that are profiting off the backs of homeless addicts’ misery. They want to keep them addicted and even encourage the addiction to keep the cash rolling in.

    As for “safety,” when we hear about random attacks on pedestrians in downtown L.A. and elsewhere, the attackers are almost always homeless meth addicts on a rampage. They often carry and attack using machetes and swords and similar weapons when they are high that can very seriously injure the unsuspecting, or kill them. I saw one running around frenetically with a machete at a freeway on-ramp near my home not all that long ago, so this stuff is not just happening on Skid Row or elsewhere in downtown L.A.

    This non-profit, and others like it, MUST be put out of business. They are not interesting in helping anyone but themselves.

  3. More from John & Ken on 4/6/23 with Andy Bales, for anyone interested. This interview covers the cartel-backed gangs that have taken over the “Skid Row Housing Trust,” now bankrupt. Govt-funded homeless housing is required to be “wet” (drugs and alcohol allowed) to receive funding. This is known as the (mis-named) “harm reduction model.” Shows how “Housing First” and other policies that fuel the Homeless Industrial Complex are a racket and a con job. Highly recommended. (Just click to begin, segment goes about 23 mins)

    1. Oh thanks so much for that link, ShowandTell.
      I am trying to open hearts and minds that the Homeless Industrial Complex is real and damaging to cities gowho buy into Housing First as a solution.

      1. Bless you, Cali Girl. By the way I screwed up the time stamp on the one above so couldn’t add that the segment actually starts about 4 minutes in.
        What Andy Bales, CEO of L.A. Union Rescue Mission, revealed here is huge. He is essentially telling us (and I had neither heard nor read of this anywhere else) that the cartels have taken over some of the taxpayer-funded “permanent supportive housing” buildings, control them, and in some cases have kicked out the “homeless” residents. Astounding. Still wondering if this applies to all the extra-pricey $800K-$1M recently-built condos that are also “wet.” One day we will find out, I hope. Not surprised, but as you heard, not a peep out of the L.A. Times even though the story was served to them repeatedly on a silver platter.
        P.S. Happy Mothers Day to you. 🙂

  4. Just what every addict wants and empty pipe! Nobody thought this one through but then again they never do, bless their incompetent hearts.

  5. I remember back in school how I would giggle in history class when the teacher talked about how doctors used to bleed patients as a treatment. Or how they believed the world was flat. Or how gladiators would fight to the death. How doctors never washed their hands before surgery. I used to think we were so much smarter and advanced now. But I gotta be honest. Even back then they weren’t so stupid as to encourage drug addicts to take more drugs. They would laugh at us if we told them anyone could change their sex at will or men could have babies! And don’t even get me started on math being racist! Point is it’s truly embarrassing that we have regressed so far backwards in this “modern age”. No doubt a thousand years from now students will be reading about our culture and laughing at how stupid people were. And for no reason. We could be advancing forward and improving as a civilization, improving the world and truly improving the environment. But instead we’re hell bent on destruction. So, so sad:(

  6. Oh please, about that not sharing a pipe BS if someone has an empty pipe and dude comes around and he’s got the dope but no pipe, I assure you he’ll be sharing that pipe and after a couple hits it won’t bother him in the least.

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