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Addiction and mental health physician Dr. Drew Pinsky
Dr. Drew Pinsky. (Photo: Pinterest)

The Only Plan to End Homelessness

‘If you’re not motivating people to get better, you’re condemning them to die’

By Ramona Russell, January 28, 2020 11:46 am

‘The vast majority have serious mental illness and drug addiction, which means they are not going to magically walk in to housing and have their problems disappear.’ ~ Dr. Drew Pinsky

 

Dr. Drew Pinsky, a board-certified physician and addiction medicine specialist who spent most of his career working in a psychiatric hospital, says he wakes up every day upset about the homeless crisis. “I’ve done this work for thirty years and I never thought I would see my patients dying in the streets. I am morally uncomfortable that I live in a state where this is allowed to go on.”

Pinsky, who is best known for his radio show “Loveline,” has quickly become an advocate for solving what he calls a drug addiction and mental health crisis, not a housing crisis. “When clinicians, politicians and scientists develop a position that becomes more theological than scientific, it’s always a disaster.”

Transients camps in Sacramento. (Photo: Ramona Russell)

He recently gave a talk at The White House and at The State of Downtown in Sacramento. The first thing he said when he came on stage in Sacramento, where one person dies on the street every two days, after spending time with law enforcement and the transient population, is that he saw signs of Tuberculosis on the streets and heard the same thing over and over: ninety percent of the homeless population are meth addicts. He praised the Sacramento Police Department and said they should receive medals for their work.

In both his recent addresses, Pinsky laid out how as a country we came to have so many people with mental illness on the streets. He explains from the book,  American Psychosis, how psychiatrist Dr. Robert Felix, who had spent one summer working in a state mental hospital, influenced President Kennedy to close all state mental hospitals in favor of community health centers. This continued on through several administrations and by the time Ronald Reagan became Governor of California, half the state hospitals had been closed. Due to the total failure of the community centers, which were designed to prevent mental health “problems” with no directive on treating psychiatric disorders, Reagan had them closed.

Pinsky, who believes the majority of schizophrenics are now on the street says, “Because there was no provisions or plan in place, patients were pouring out of the hospitals by the hundreds of thousands and were going to the nursing homes, prisons and the streets to die.”

One of the many things Pinsky talks about are the “resistant cases,” the transients who refuse services, shelter and treatment. He believes these cases represent about sixty to eighty-five percent of the homeless population, and one of the biggest reasons for this is anosognosia, a condition in which the person is unaware of having a disability. This deficit in self-awareness, which blocks the brain to a person’s insight, affects patients with dementia, stroke, psychiatric illnesses and drug addiction.

“In a right hemisphere stroke one side of the body goes out and the patient doesn’t know it, even when they see their hand flop over,” Pinsky explains. “It’s the same condition in dementia, and if you left that patient on the street, you would be considered cruel and you would be liable. Yet the same symptoms present in psychiatric patients and drug addicts, but you can’t touch them. We privilege the very same symptoms in the law with psychiatric cases. This is a reaction to the excesses of psychiatry back in the 1950s and 1960s. I do not defend any of that, but the laws created more than a half a century ago in response, are woefully outdated and are not suited to the modern era of brain science.”

 

‘Nothing is lower functioning than not being able to house yourself, yet no one is or has triaged people on the street.’ ~Dr. Drew Pinsky

 

“We cannot change much in a dementia patient, but with a schizophrenic, if we don’t intervene, we are condemning them to future deterioration with a treatable disease whose course can be changed dramatically with early intervention,” Pinsky said. “Left alone to progress, a person is often destroyed forever. Treated early, they can potentially lead relatively normal lives.”

“Nothing is lower functioning than not being able to house yourself, yet no one is or has triaged people on the street.” Pinsky goes on to explain that when Los Angeles County, where three people are dying a day from homelessness, went out to transient camps with showers, it took an average of fourteen contacts per person to get them to agree to take one.

Regarding addiction, Pinsky says, “Drug addicts are the population we’re going to have the most trouble getting off the street. Drugs cause a disorder of priorities by washing aside all other priorities including family, work and survival in order to use. And no one advocates for drug addicts, even though most severe addiction is incited by childhood trauma.”

“The drive to use heroin is profound, and meth dismantles thinking. When the two are combined, it’s a horrid combination which is almost untreatable,” says Pinsky. “Amphetamine psychosis creates paranoid thought disturbances and bizarre delusions focused primarily on nearby relationships, such as the belief grandma is building a machine to torment them and the neighbors are in on it, or the government is putting thoughts in my head. A patient once told me being on meth is like having a strobe light going on and off and nothing is connecting.”

Because of these resistant cases in people with mental illness and drug addiction, Pinsky believes current laws must be revised and new ones put forward. “They will not go in to or stay in housing unless we have some means to motivate them.” 

Modify Proposition 47

In 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, “The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act,” which made both serial theft of less than $950 per location and drug possession, misdemeanors instead of felonies. This has tied the hands of law enforcement, who can only “cite and release” when seeing open drug use and theft, and also eliminated the drug court’s ability to offer court-mandated rehab versus jail time.

“Addiction takes over all motivational priorities of the brain, and there are usually only three things that motivate drug addicts to get better:  losing their child, their life or their freedom,” Pinsky says. “If my patients know they can get easy access to unrestrained drugs, they’re coming to California, where drug use is a misdemeanor, without consequences or the ability to get the patient in front of the court. They belong in mandated care, and in order to get sobriety it has to be your life’s work. You will get help, follow directions, go to meetings, get a sponsor, go to cognitive behavioral therapy and vocational rehab. And I’m in favor of medicated assisted treatment and harm avoidance; only ten percent of people with addiction in this country get treatment. I don’t think we’re going to get sobriety out of everyone.”

Revise the LPS Act with SB 640

In 1967, California passed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. The intention of this bill, which was co-authored by State Assemblyman Frank Lanterman and State Senators Nicholas C. Petris and Alan Short, was to “end the inappropriate, indefinite and involuntary commitment of persons with mental health disorders.” But it missed the mark by putting severely mentally ill people on the streets and in our prisons because the people who often care for them most—their families—lost all tools to give their loved ones the care they needed, at times, involuntarily.

Pinsky says, “The LPS Act maintains the silent genocide on our streets, because if you say I’m going to kill myself or somebody else, and you end up in the emergency room, but then a few hours later say ‘I’ve thought better of it,’ you’re released as long as you can answer the questions, ‘do you know how to get food and do you have shelter?’ Even if that means McDonald’s across the street and a tent on the sidewalk. No treatment and no assessment. You can just go.”

Senator John Moorlach, the author of Senate Bill 640, summarized on his website how the bill would remedy the issues of the LPS Act. “SB 640 would clarify the definition of ‘gravely disabled’ to align it with the original intent of the LPS Act. If an individual, as a result of a mental health disorder, is incapable of making informed decisions about their own personal wellbeing, there should be better metrics to help those who are simply incapable of helping themselves. This is especially important when the absence of significant supervision and assistance puts the individual at risk of substantial bodily harm. This failure has converted our jails and prisons into makeshift mental institutions and left a high number of seriously mentally ill homeless individuals with no means of treatment or care.”

Twice Moorlach, along with families of mentally ill individuals, presented SB 640 to the legislature, which fell on deaf ears. Pinsky added, “These families are left desperate, begging for help to get their homeless loved one off the street so they can take care of them and prevent them from dying, and the legislature was completely uninterested. Not passing SB 640 is indefensible and moreover it’s morally reprehensible.”

Remove the IMD Exclusion

According to the book  ‘American Psychosis,’ in 1965 both Medicare and Medicaid “sought to exclude the mentally ill to avoid having the federal government usurp state fiscal responsibility. For Medicaid this was done by decreeing that Medicaid funds could not be used for individuals in mental institutions, which became known as the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion.”

Pinsky believes by removing that exclusion and allowing Medicaid funds to pay for care in psychiatric facilities, this will have a huge impact on decreasing the number of mentally ill people on the streets.

Implement Psychiatric Case Advance Directives 

Pinsky has proposed having a POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form for treating psychiatric disorders. “You fill out this form if your brain doesn’t work when you get medically ill, but we don’t do it for psychiatric illness where your brain is potentially equally dysfunctional. We need an advanced directive for psychiatric care which specifies what you want the doctor to do when your psychiatric illness decompensates.”

Build Environments of Care 

“Four walls is not a treatment for psychiatric illnesses,” Pinsky says. “Any legitimate environment of care always includes the necessary services to manage psychiatric patients. Wrap around services are synonymous with comprehensive psychiatric services, which people don’t seem to understand. They include a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a medical doctor, a social worker, a drug counselor, a vocational rehab therapist and an occupational therapist.”

“There are dedicated services and beds for the homeless left unused and there is plenty of money to provide these services,” Pinsky explains. “If we start actually treating all the psychiatric illnesses in the street, we will quickly need to develop more environments of care like the Trieste Model or Haven for Hope, which are proven models that succeed.”

Pinsky regularly asks in interviews or on one of his many podcasts, “What does the body count need to be before we give up crazy ideas like building four walls will treat mental illness? This is the current policy we are pursuing in California:  if we just have housing it will end. The vast majority have serious mental illness and drug addiction, which means they are not going to magically walk in to housing and have their problems disappear. If you’re not motivating people to get better, you’re condemning them to die. You’re committing manslaughter for the status quo.”

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55 thoughts on “The Only Plan to End Homelessness

    1. This is a thoughtful article and will hopefully be viewed as the beginning of an important dialogue. While It is understandable that California residents are weary of homelessness, I do not support the view that a solution lies in the direction of restricting the hard earned rights and legal protections of homeless people, many of whom are disabled. In my research I’ve found much to criticize regarding homeless housing authorities. In my op
      opinion we need to stop blaming the victims of an archaic, failing system and focus on changing the homeless services system. We are using shelter models that are iver a century old. We need to accommodate advances in the understanding and treatment of those disorders seen among the homeless population. For examole, while motivation is important, i do not believe that we can legislate motivation. There are far more humane ways to motivate people.

      1. Why is that? I’m curious to know your reasoning, given his background. Who would be better qualified, and where do you feel the answer to this complex issue resides?

      2. Frank, it is so easy to snipe… what are your credentials? More importantly your contribution to this dialog and much needed focus leading to a true resolution? I hope you respond so clarity may be brought to your comment.

      3. I also am a physician watching our society decompensate because we have decided that homelessness is caused by higher home prices etc. It’s just not the case. Yes there are always that small minority of people who are homeless because of true job related issues etc. But the vast majority of homeless persons are mentally ill or addicted to drugs so severely they can not take care of themselves. We do them an injustice by saying the best form of help is to simply give them free housing. It will fail, absolutely.

        1. And if they don’t begin homelessness as resistant mentally challenged and drug addicted, they will get there. Just trying to adapt to the homelessness and stigma pervasive with being homeless. And some degree of “mental illness” , lack or loss of self worth, to end up without support to be in housing.

  1. Very important article — has specific information regarding what can be done to help the majority of those on the street — for their sake and ours. Take the time to read it. If someone says, “yes, it’s terrible, but what are we supposed to do?” you can tell them. The more people know about this, the more we can overcome the ineffective policy now in place and make this happen.

  2. It’s great to see someone who has finally proposed a real solution to this problem that appears to tie all the loose ends together into one comprehensive proposal. Now, let’s get it implemented before it’s too late!

  3. I have lived in Sacramento since 1980. I have taken light rail to work since 2000 and ride the bike trail 5 times a week (since 1988). Needless to say I’ve seen the homeless problem up close and in some instances more personal than I wanted it to be. I would add to the Modify Proposition 47…and that would be that the Supreme Court is upholding the lower ruling on the homeless camping ban which takes tools away from local government to be able to deal with the homelessness. Parks Rangers on the bike trail have done a good job dealing with the homelessness problem even in light of this. Sorry but camp where you want/when you want/how you want/the world is my trash can and you’ll clean up after me (right?) is not a good policy. This aligns somewhat (same logic) with Revising the LPS Act with SB 640, it provides a tool that is needed to help fix the problem as is the Remove the IMD Exclusion.

    Some of the more in the weeds issue I have not really seen addressed are as follows.

    Who will triage the homeless and who (local, state, federal organization where’s that funding from again, who pays for this?) keeps that data (what gets included in that data, it personal that’s for sure) updated as they are a mobile demographic. Are you going to chip these people to keep track of them (on Google maps), YIKES!! Once you do start processing (I know that is cold) these people (are you going to force them to the facility, remember the anosognosia (my mom had dementia, I know the drill), there is nothing wrong with me, now bug off, leave me alone, I know my rights, I just want to do my drugs!) how will this all go down?

    Think of the population (that we are going to figure out what it really is, not just the one night in February counting people in shelters that they do now, what a joke!) that we have now in Sacramento, you need a big (warehouse) facility to keep people off the street and more importantly away from drugs (a lot of detox going here). Sound like a prison well, ya, if keeping you from doing what you want to do is prison, then sure it’s prison in a sense, sad but true. If you get to the point that people are dried out (poor term but you get the point) now you have to figure out where they are at on the spectrum and that would be the work of the aforementioned “psychiatrist, a psychologist, a medical doctor, a social worker, a drug counselor, a vocational rehab therapist and an occupational therapist”. Again, who pays for this?

    One last comment before I get off my soapbox and that is the families of these homeless people. I am not always sure that all families are “begging for help to get their homeless loved one off the street so they can take care of them and prevent them from dying”, as cold as this sounds probably some of the homeless were put out in the cold because they were too much to deal with or the families themselves are homeless (do we allow the homeless pregnant person to come to term?) or some people just are going to go over the edge no matter what you do to help (or what you think is help, they may not view it that way). This latter was the case with my sister who was a casualty of the opioid wars of 2017, legal in this case but once again the medical profession (shame on you, sorry Dr. Pinsky but the medical profession has its issues) put the gun in her hand, so to speak, but that is a story for another day.

    1. I understand what you have said and agree with you on most. As a homeless woman that has been noted as mentally ill by my family ( whom I haven’t gotten along with since they blame me for my father having a heart attack) but not by my therapist of 5 yrs. I am not an addict but a person that has been dealt some really bad hands, where do you draw the line? Everyone wants to put all the homeless in the same category, which is as fair as saying all Muslim’s are terrorists. I worked, paid taxes, went to college, and raised 4 children on my own, without help from welfare or child support. I did it but one child gets sick and your in children’s hospital for four years. Lost my job and my home I was buying, left state and sperated my family . Lost everything but I have my child. At the same time,my older daughter was kidnapped and was gone for four days. After the Amber alert I heard from a man. He helped me get her back. I also lost my best friend 😭. Then my mind took a break. I’m so blessed that I came back and I’ve been doing great. I dealt with a lot the 8 yrs since I snapped out of my breakdown and I was in a collision with an Amtrak and broke my neck. Now 50 yrs old and I can’t get anyone to hire me. I never thought I could go through anymore but then I lost my apartment. I’m homeless,on SSI and I have two small dogs that I love,who do you think will rent to me? You never know what puts someone on the street so we all need to be judged separately. Voting on something that puts us all in the same pile.

  4. I have had family members who had a combination of Schizophrenia and Bi Polar. They would leave the house and give away clothes etc etc from a lovely home. It was caused by a family member who hung himself. Finally we found the correct drug and the person was able to live a normal life. Many can be helped. With Mental issues they will not stay in any kind of housing without help as they go into a blank state and cannot help themselves if they do not get mental help

  5. Excellent article! As a First-Responder we see this population multiple times each day. It is not a housing problem, it is a mental health/addiction problem. Finally, someone sees what we see. Thank You.

  6. It seems family members can’t help these members of the family that are mentally ill or who have drug problems. Family members are not trained to do the job. It seems that if we had places like prisons do to put these that need help together and feed, treat and house them with nurses, doctors and trained personal, this could help. These people need to get off the streets, for their sake and health and that of others. Parents and schools need to have a workable plan to teach our young people how to avoid and control additive traits. I do admit I do not know all about what is available and what all the answers are!! I am just a concerned person who is wondering about my safety, that of others, and of course care that is need for those living in the streets.

  7. Great article! I am retired MSW and seen the demise of mental health since 1950’s
    Empty state hospital of mentally ill with poor plan and lack of money
    Lanterman short Doyle needs rewrite
    Impossible/difficult to conserve/treat ppl
    And prop 47 has made impossible to to arrest
    I have worked in jail(1980s Sacramento) and huge numbers inmate mentally ill
    I worked a year on call Sac mental health late 80s and had to discharge folks to shelters
    They bounced between jails and crisis unit
    I worked in 70s at Stockton state hospital right after mentally ill discharged
    Developmentally disabled have fared better as Regional centers legislated and money followed- plus clearer cut regarding what constitutes gravely disabled(in Lanterman short Doyle act)
    Thanks for writing this article !
    I would like to add there other groups that are often homeless those with TBI and drug babies that grow up but have average IQ but due to drugs and alcohol in utero FASD fall in cracks
    And end up homeless
    Please direct me to who I can discuss this
    I am tired of well meaning laws that actually created this horrible situation
    Thanks again
    Sibyl

    1. Hey Sibyl,
      Good to see your reply here–and great that you mention FASD. But there’s growing evidence that FASD underlies a LOT of this stuff…see my comment below (hopefully they’ll print it).

  8. The issue of guardianship also needs to be addressed.
    As a family member of a mentally ill individual I watched my mother and father struggle with the issue of guardianship, when our mentally ill cousin came of age. Attorneys told my parents that they would either have to go to court and become my cousins guardian or let her make her own choices. If they chose to be her guardian, then they would be responsible for all of her actions. if she injured or killed someone or herself, then my parents would be responsible. With two small children, they simply could not take that risk. Therefore, my cousin left the house and has, in my opinion, been raped many times and now we have three generations of mentally ill individuals still living on the streets. Very sad.

    Most mentally ill and drug addicted individuals have family members that are willing and able to care for them. We need to remove this barrier of guardianship and support families caring for their family members at home By giving him the same rights they had as parents when the child was a minor. This would include something similar to a medical power of attorney.

  9. The only way I can conceive of circumventing the Supreme Courts edicts on homelessness, is to set up a larger conservatorship court system. Run the most problematic homeless through it and assign a conservator (which could be a social worker). Then perhaps they can be institutionalized and medicated.

    One big thing I see missing in this discussion is how redevelopment has wiped out flop houses, old motels and hotels, group homes and hostels that once provided some housing to those in the underclass. It is now a quasi-crime to own an old commercial building with second floor apartments because that is considered “blight” that does not generate enough property taxes for local government. So such older structures are demolished for upscale restaurant districts and retail centers that generate more taxes for greedy local governments. Ironically, with the rise of Internet sales, retail centers are suffering or dying. Some are being demolished. But the older housing that once was located there can’t be rebuilt because affordable housing for the indigent is old, obsolescent, and poorly located by definition. If you want flop houses for those living on the margin, then stop demolishing older districts.

    1. I’ve heard Dr. Pinsky on his radio show & have often wondered how we can get him to be our homelessness ‘czar’. He knows the problem and knows the solutions – we just need to find a way to put him in charge. Will the politicians let him solve the problem ?

  10. While in Miami Florida getting treatment in a long term rehab, called Phoenix. On a beautiful day as part of the treatment some of BB n the counselors took us to a places where the homeless stayed. One spot under a bridge where the homeless stayed. (Scared me straight! I have nightmares to this day 9 years later) To our awful surprise we arrive amidst, the city of Miami police were made to make these homeless people leave that spot . They were literally knocking over tents spreading their belongings all over. If they got back in tents and wouldn’t come out the police cut rip kick burned their shelter and belongings! Just damaged their HOMES anyway they could! That was their home and the protectors of their city came through like a tornado and destroyed what little they had in life! It was the saddest and maddest I’ve ever been! Even more shocking was, the police seemed to be enjoying it!!! Thank You for all you do! You are a very caring person! We need many more like you!

  11. What a great article! Thank you!

    I work with people who have anosognosia in my private coaching practice and teach a seminar on it for the LEAP Institute, which was created by Dr. Xavier Amador, a leading expert on anosognosia in the world. I work exclusively with people who have bipolar disorder, since 40% of the people with bipolar have anosognosia (50% or more with schizophrenia). I would recommend anyone interested in how Dr. Amador successfully treats anosognosia to visit him at leapinstitute.org. Dr. Drew is right, it makes no sense to get housing for someone with a severe mental illness without simultaneously treating the mental illness. Untreated, people will be in and out of housing all the time. Treatment must be at the core. Why we don’t recognize this in our society is a mystery for me.

    Thanks again for the article.

    1. You are making a clear point and I agree. It does seem we have ‘Society anosognosia’ based on your final sentences: ” It sounded like this at the end of your comment. “Untreated, people will be in and out of housing all the time. Treatment must be at the core. Why we don’t recognize this in our society is a mystery for me.”

  12. The mental health crisis in our country is an epidemic, but nobody really talks about it. We hear speeches on the news and hashtags on awareness months, but how often do we really talk candidly about the people we love who struggle? Why is it so colored with shame? I’m not big on secrecy but haven’t been able to figure out how to unload all that has been unfolding, and even if I should. I asked if it was even my story to tell.

    But my sister died.

    And she deserves to tell her story honestly without the coverup of a rose colored glasses obituary, because something needs to change in our country before mental illness claims another. Her life was complicated but it mattered, and I want to do something with this ugliness to bring beauty to her memory.

    Mental illness is a part of too many people I love. And not just the PC variety showcased in sitcoms, soothed with a glass of wine. My world has been punctured by the impact of depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, psychosis, suicide, and now this, each stealing people I love, and in our system there’s nothing I could do to help the speeding trains. It has to change. We have to change it.

    We lost my sister to psychosis years ago, but the past 3 months have involved a crescendoed roller coaster of stalking, restraining orders, and now the unimaginable. I followed the rules, followed the law, did everything I was supposed to do to help her. It felt impossible, but I did it anyways because it was “all you can do.” And as her psychosis escalated, my circle was forcefully widened to neighbors, colleagues, even deans at the college, as she frantically unraveled louder and louder, and to a wider and wider audience. And with each person I shared, I heard a consistent confirmation that I was not alone, with a predictable response of “my brother…, my mother…, my cousin…, my friend…”. But why was this the first time we were talking about this? Why does nobody talk about this?

    I don’t want to hear “you did everything you could.” I want us all to do more. I want us to shout if we need to. And we need to.

    My sister disappeared just before Christmas. Her last message to me was a swirling of I love yous and I fucked ups. Last week, she was found murdered in Mexico.

    But that is not her story. That isn’t even her ending. I won’t let it be.

    She was my sister, the one who read me “Sideways Stories” a hundred times to help me fall asleep at night. She was the one who’d make imaginary camps with me, stealing paper from our dad’s office to make a thousand name tags for our dolls. She was the one who got me an invite into the cool sorority in school, even though I quickly realized I was not built for coolness. And she was not phased by my decision to become a cool kid drop out.

    She was a lawyer. The smart one in the family, I never even attempted to steal the prized position, with her brilliance far beyond my grasp. But sometimes I wonder if that brilliance was as much a burden as a badge, as she never found the room in her life to really learn people, relationships. The social-emotional was always more of a mystery to her.

    She was also deeply troubled, battling depression more often than not, anorexia, and a personality often difficult to navigate.

    Years ago, she estranged herself from the family as a quirky challenge, and reappeared so deep in psychosis it was impossible to reason.

    She needed help and I was not equipped. None of us were, although we tried. We leaned on the system, the rules, which we quickly learned were meant to protect her rights and not her sanity, but not to help her. If you love someone who has struggled, you understand. If you don’t, we all need to start talking.

    My dad is the wordsmith in the family. I think we were all waiting for him to declutter our minds in the midst of all of this with his magic words. He used his connections and wrote an article for the LA Times that everyone should read, a call to action in Amy’s honor. The world will read it this Sunday but I asked him if I could share it here because it is what I want to say and do, and can’t. I want a movement, a change. I hope you do too. Please read it. Please share it.

    If you have loved someone who suffers from mental illness, or you struggle yourself, please say something. Let’s talk about it. Right now. Let’s steal away the shame and do something. Let’s write our politicians, write it here, devise some clever hashtag that bastardizes the ugly so much that people will finally look at it. #YourStoryIsNotOver #ItsTimeToTalk #ItsNotInvisibleWhenYouOpenYourEyes I don’t know. But I know I’m not alone. I wish Amy did too. If you loved someone, let’s talk.

    In the meantime, if you can find a minute to write someone with a voice bigger than mine, please do. Click the link, find your rep, and shout. Mental illness does not discriminate along party lines. This is not a political polarization. These are people, and it is our responsibility to look and see and talk and help.

    https://www.house.gov/representati…/find-your-representative

    ——————————————

    by Dennis McDougal

    I have been absent from FB for a spell. Many of you already know, but just as many do not. I lost my remarkable daughter Amy at the beginning of this new decade and my heart is broken. It may strengthen over time, but it won’t mend. I breakdown everywhere, at all hours and without warning. If I don’t answer my phone, it isn’t because I don’t want to talk. It is because I cannot.

    This Sunday the L.A. Times is scheduled to publish a version of the following. It is self-explanatory:

    When O.J. Simpson made his famous Blazer ride down the 405 in 1994, I was headed in the same direction to meet up with my middle daughter Amy for a James Taylor concert. I had no time for murderers. I didn’t learn the details of the famous slo-mo freeway chase until later because I was late for my first father/daughter date since Amy began her freshman year at UC San Diego. She had proudly made a show of buying tickets with her own money – a Father’s Day gift she knew I’d love because Taylor was my musical hero as well as hers. He was already on stage when I arrived, but had just begun one of our mutual favorites…

    “Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
    Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you
    I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
    I just can’t remember who to send it to…”

    It was a grand and memorable night but real life took over first thing the following morning. I was in the employ of both CNN and TV Guide at the time. While I pursued O.J., Amy pursued a BA that would eventually lead to a degree at Loyola Law and a license to practice law in California.

    Last week, word came to me that my precious Amy had died, probably at the hands of another. Her body had been found in an abandoned rental car in an upscale neighborhood of Hermosillo, Mexico, four hours south of the Arizona border. She had been missing since Christmas eve. Her husband Mike filed a Missing Person report with the Orange County Sheriff on Dec. 30 and with each passing day, we became more and more worried.

    Amy had fallen victim to mental illness at least five years ago. One shrink called it bipolar psychosis; another, schizoaffective disorder. Whatever its name, it gripped my little girl’s psyche and wouldn’t let go. Medication never had an opportunity to help because her fevered brain told her not to take it. Therapy was futile. She booked into and out of rehabs literally from coast to coast, including Pennsylvania and Utah — all to no positive end. Like her brave husband Mike, I had to stand by helplessly and watch her unravel.

    Shortly after that long ago James Taylor concert, I published a book about mental illness. “In The Best of Families” came out the same week that Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were butchered in Brentwood. The book was about the family of Ronald Reagan’s personal lawyer Roy Miller – a high-octane partner at the blue chip firm of Gibson, Dunne & Crutcher. Despite his money, connections and political clout, Miller was unable to prevent schizophrenia from destroying his family. His elder son overdosed on aspirin while his younger son raped and murdered Roy’s wife of 30 years.

    “In The Best of Families” was meant to be a cautionary tale, urging politicians and the public to re-examine mental health “reforms” that President Reagan ushered into existence after he moved into the White House. Reforms never happened. The same ill-conceived laws that shut the doors of scores of mental hospitals while “freeing” patients to live on their own are still on the books. As a direct result, Amy had as much chance to defeat her insanity as Roy Miller’s boys. The courts, the police, social service agencies, psychiatrists – they are all able to dodge responsibility with impunity. The severely psychotic have the same rights and privileges as any other citizen.

    Because Amy was a lawyer, and quite a good one, she knew how and when to invoke her rights. Until the last several months before her life imploded, she used every trick in the book to dodge incarceration — her last best hope of getting enforced treatment. Mental illness brings delusion, tics, bizarre behavior and uncontrollable mood swings, but at least in Amy’s case, it didn’t touch her street smarts. She could shriek foul invective while torching her husband’s high school yearbooks or wrecking car after car, but clean up by the time the cops showed. Acting as though nothing had happened, she talked her way out of arrest time after time.

    But she could not talk her way out of trouble the last week of 2019. She rented a car in Las Vegas on Dec. 23, sent off a flurry of pleading texts as she had been doing daily for years, then disappeared into Mexico. An FBI agent called Mike a week after he’d filed his Missing Person report. A battered body had been found, almost unrecognizable. Fingerprint confirmation was pending, but the passport and purse inside the rental car belonged to Mrs. Amy Suzanne Riley, 44, of Foothill Ranch, California.

    I know many of you will send condolences when you read this. I know they are heartfelt and I thank you ahead of time. But if you can muster and sustain some form of fury akin to my own, I would ask that you offer that instead of thoughts and prayers.

    I dropped the ball 25 years ago. Because my book came out the same week as the O.J. Simpson arrest, “In The Best of Families” didn’t sell very well. I shrugged it off and began writing the next book. I didn’t use Roy Miller’s tragedy as a cudgel against the deaf, dumb and blind men and women elected to Congress and the California Legislature as I had planned.

    Ronald Reagan did not act alone, but his administration’s extermination of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980 guaranteed that neither Roy Miller’s sons nor my daughter would have anywhere to turn when their worlds began to collapse. IMHO, state and federal bureaucrats are as responsible for Amy’s death as the bastards who did the actual killing.

    There are over 2 million people behind bars in this country and a large chunk of them are mentally ill. The homelessness crisis now hitting every big city in America is as much about psychosis as it is lack of affordable housing. With every school mass shooting, voices from the left as well as the right cry out for better mental health, then do nothing.
    Amy’s loving and extended family join me in seeking answers to the immediate mystery of her passing – a process that will take some time. But my own anger and anguish won’t fade at her grave site. I mean to pick up where I left off a quarter century ago. Millions upon millions of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness but they have no lobby on K Street or P. R. reps in Sacramento. When the chips are down, they have nowhere to turn. Like Amy, they only experience lonely times when they cannot find a friend.

    Forgive me my sweet child. I always thought that I’d see you again.

    1. Dennis thank you for sharing your story! I won’t give you the I’m sorry! I can’t go In to detail about any off my issues cause some family say I sound like a nut or I’m crazy! Others tell me to get over things!! If you wanna know my story or I can be mad with you I can give contact info and we can chat!! Keep the fight going it’s well needed!!

    2. Wow, my heart’s in anguish… and yes, I’m angry! Thank you for stirring the fire. Mental illness has touched my own family for years… sometimes it’s a rattle, sometimes an earthquake – but the hardest part is ALWAYS for the family to get help for those who are teetering… and it seems like all we can do is just watch…

  13. The people I’ve met on the streets, homeless people are NOT addicts and NOT drunks. Both items cost money to purchase and begging for money will NOT be enough to support those habits.
    I’ve hired workers off the streets, homeless people.. who just needed a helping hand. Most I’ve worked with are willing and eager to work for money.
    Most are NOT addicts, nor mentally diminished. All have been fully functional, aware of their surroundings and speak very coherently, with me and my customers.
    Most WILL NOT go to shelters, as they have to mingle with people who have diseases and the people who come to shelters have no problem stealing from others who are homeless!
    Most I’ve hired and worked with have lost a job, been fired, lost their ID,.. and have no one to give them a hand up.
    Some have been kicked out of a house or apartment… don’t have money to pay 2 or 3 months rent up front… and being out on the street,.. no where safe to sleep…before long… they are out of work… lost… trying to survive… with no job and no place to live.
    Get out on the streets and talk to people and you will find they are NOT addicts or mentally diminished.

    1. Hi Gary,
      Thank you for your post. Where do you live? I live in SF and work with the homeless population at a nurse. Your experience sounds very unique. This article sums up my experiences so I am curious where you encounter the individuals you described.

  14. Ronald Reagan was president when this happened but it was the ACLU that gave him no choice! They said “no one can be housed against their will”. This went to the Constitutional Courts…and the law changed. So now…they are Homeless instead! Unless we are allowed to “house the mentally ill” against their will…while they get treatment…this will never change.

  15. Excellent article!! An articulate clear delineation of homelessness and the lack of effective mental health treatment that has caused this problem to grow out of control for several decades.

    Homelessness is the shame of our times, surrounded by an obvious problem with no clear leadership rising to effectively address this issue.

    The comments that followed the article were heart wrenching and profound.

    In this time of political hacks spewing one liner sound bytes as if that constituted policy statements to campaign for office, real leadership will need to rise up below the surface, a mass movement of enraged citizens who refuse to go along with the program and will never give up the fight until the funds are available and the laws are changed to deal with the reality of mental illness and drug addiction. We can’t wait for a politician to solve our problems for us. We must stand up and advocate en masse until the powers that be are forced to deal with this problem effectively.

    Dr. Drew Pinsky is a clear well informed leader on this very important issue. How can we provide him, and others like him, the kind of support needed to build a groundswell that cannot be denied by political hacks.

    1. Excellent work by the reporter and the referenced doctor. Almost all of the comments here are pointing the public and lawmakers in the right direction. There was one “shame on you” comment that was oddly misdirected. Clearly there is no shame to the doctors, authors, reporters, and commenters who are working toward solutions to the problems of California’s population(s) of people living on the fringes of society. No one is saying that all homeless people can be placed in one category. Clearly, there are people living on the streets who simply need help, and are not just “on the take”. However, a very high number of people living on the street are not in their right mind, and will never return to mainstream life without intervention in some form or another. These scientific and medically based truths were very well stated in the article and the comments here.
      The ACLU was a fore mentioned in comments. They have done many great things. They have also done many bad things. Liberty is important to defend; yet unbridled liberty may also be our undoing. Rights end when they infringe on the rights of others. This is a touchy subject, and I do not intend to go down that road here. I simply state, that there are obvious and clear tests to determine basic mental acuity. Those who need help… whether they want it or not… must be placed into forced confinement for there own good; and the betterment of society in general. Drug addicts who believe that they do not need help, are also in this category. Public monies must not be used to enable addicts to further their travel down dark roads. Rather, monies must be used constructively, for the betterment of the person(s) and society at large.
      I have friends who recently moved away from Medford Oregon and relocated to another state. Although they loved the area, they and others sadly and sarcastically referred to “Medford as Methford.” Scofflaws would break into houses to feed their addictions. If they were undetected, they took what they wanted and returned to the streets. However, getting caught was actually a bonus. Being apprehended by the police meant that they had a warm safe bed behind bars, hot meals, restrooms and showers. Then, after the required lockup expired, they were released back on the streets to repeat the process. I contend here, that this process of wash, rinse and repeat is unsustainable. We are talking about people here. One group of taxpayers trying to work and live… and another group of people who for whatever reason have checked out of society and are living as scofflaws.
      Society is already paying a high price. We must engage in civil dialogue that leads to action. I hope that all of you who read this comment take the time to read all of the comments. There is some great work here; not just feel good moments.
      One last thought here that I think is important. California is taking a lot of heat for how it is / is not dealing with the homeless population. But… (here comes the billy goat) a great many homeless have migrated to CA , and not just because of lax public policy. They have migrated from YOUR state for many reasons, but here are two for you to think about: First, they didn’t get the help they needed in your state. Secondly, face it. We have a better climate for homeless populations. After all, if you were going to be an addict or a scofflaw, you may as well enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. I am not trying to be a poo here, but (I am wearing my big boy pants).
      Sunshine or snow… Homeless populations are an emerging national problem.
      Thanks again to the authors, reporters, lawmakers, and members of the public that are working toward real solutions. None of this work is easy. It will take blogs, and thinkers. It will take contrary and sometimes uncomfortable ideas and actions.

  16. Your so Amazing 😉 Dr Drew . Finally someone who speaks the truth about this sad and horrible issue . We need our State back .

    1. Regarding abortion. why are taxpayers paying for services for women only? I think abortion is murder and by paying for it we are being an accessory to murder. Instead I believe abortion clinics should be turned into clinics for the mentally disturbed people living on the streets…both men and women.
      Dr Drew said it is not a homeless problem but a mental health problem. Taxpayers would rather spend their money helping people rather than murdering babies.

  17. I highly needed article and point of you. Sadly folks this is how a critical mass SCREAMS IN THE WILDERNESS !!!!!!!!
    A look at a few points very clearly demonstrates the extent to which our collective HUMANITY has sagged / dropped / tumbled …..
    – as mentioned in the article, community mental health services have closed their doors. Having worked in one, I know for sure that this is partly because the large number of mentally ill admitted to for-profit hospitals cannot afford to pay ergo… no profit !
    – cold and hungry on the streets with no shelter and no food to eat but access to drugs that will numb your hunger, your intrusive thoughts, the scary voices in your head and put you to sleep. The easy and sometimes only choice is to use whatever cheap adulterated, toxic street drugs you can grab.
    – we talk incessantly about the homeless problem because we genuinely want to do something but the deaf ears of our government(s) would rather listen to the oblivious pompous logorrhea of a mad man pantomiming as a president then to reallocate our existing budgets to alleviate the problem immediately
    – in the meantime China demonstrated how a couple of large hospitals ARE BUILT WITHIN 10 DAYS !!!!!!!
    God help me I need to cream !

  18. And I’ve sent this & messaged DOD & military base’s in new mexico re: Dulce’s military base as well;

    Crime’s against humanity NO even begin to scratch the surface. ALL $ bought & sold out your humanity & NON-SELF owned Soul (as solely God owns ALL), but re: Even with & like THOSE upon indian reservation (no respect for THE LAND) = New Mexico’s 7 mile’s down Dulce military base (& their just ONE amidst USA, despite global elsewhere), but press – on your computer keyboard the key’s Ctrl & ‘F’ & search / find keyword – type in: Level 6 & see thereof text wordage around thereof: https://www.crystalinks.com/undergroundbases.html.

    Do your own research, come to your own conclusion’s, but DON’T deem vast that they have been doing & are (tick tock ‘time’, right now) aren’t even worse so: global extermination by 2025, & whom (TOP Power deem that 9-1-1 was JUST a TEST, to see just how the global masses would react & respond.

    Globalist’s, misc aren’t really doing what they plan on, their really just passing the time, evil – senselessly, & their talk of reducing 7 billion plus down to 500 million, huh, OH don’t think it’ll stop there, oh no, just so Satan who solely started this Holy War against God, can eventually ‘spite’ God with eventually exhibited all human eventually narrowed down & killed, like Satan’s timeless laughing off it’s ass at us (having put on a clueless humor show for that beast) & deeming to God, “LOOK AT THEM ALL, YOUR SO-CALLED PRIDE & JOY, THEIR SUPPOSE TO REPRESENT YOU?!”

    And you gonna tell me (fellow human’s) THAT no bothers you? OH it will, upon Coming Judgment Day before Jesus per / via your Heaven Life Record (everyone has one, even Adam & Eve), OH . . . I ‘GET’ much BECAUSE I chose to SELF denyingly Holy Warrior rise up for solely Holy Trinity. You (CARE?) to read – hear more? Huh, fine, it’s NOT my Holy intel & I’m no threat nor lone wolf (as lone wolf is NOT in nor of Holy Trinity). Men in Black? Crime’s against humanity NO even begin to scratch the surface.

    Like judge Marshall (“Time Cop”) said, “The sentence is DEATH, to be carried out IMMEDIATELY!” NO waiting around for the right cocktail, & thereof WATCH & WITNESS just how fast 6′ x 9′, misc tier’s would be cleared & emptied!

    Know that it was Adam that sinned first, NOT Eve BUT old men long ago would have vast past since – to date believe otherwise, & why would anyone think? YEAH, huh, right.

    Here’s another one: When satan got defeated re: Jesus’s testing in the desert, Satan just deemed (BECAUSE of ‘?’, ROGUE us all as a whole FROM Holy trinity), “Fine Satan would just go after Jesus’s next best thing, HIS Little One’s ‘children / kids’ through the adult’s”.

    Humanity could (& should have SELF denyingly chosen to Holy Warrior rise up & represent solely Holy Trinity < as to why we were created & thought up in the first with WITH all we'd ever need ie: gift's, talent's, skill's & free will, NOT EVER to exhibitedly deem (UGH) that God is somehow a maid & janitor for us?

    Uh, NOT HE wouldn't even have to exhale & we'd go out quicker than a candle & think NOT fellow humanity why Jesus REALLY came, huh, there'd be WHAT? Animatedly White streak's down all adult's back in fear & terror finding out the REAL Truth), with that we were solely created to self denyingly care take of each & Earth, NOTHING off!

    And the dying Earth? Try: The Natural balance is off < once like a force field shielding, like a computer firewall going down, thus, having allowed in, because of Adam first & THEN Eve, which Satan seeing Adam failing God priorly THEN did God allow Satan to try testing Eve.

    And re: children / kid's, Jesus: "If any adult's keep any of these Little one's from me, they will NEVER see my Father". MUCH has been changed, suppressed, misc by whether the Vatican, fill in the blank's over centuries, even destroyed so that later humanity would NOT know of the truth or say that 1) Satan started this nevertheless 70 century – to date Holy War against God, 2) Adam FIRST, NOT Eve, sinned & then Eve of course but old men long ago changing writing’s would have any & all believe otherwise, & SO . . . what then? Satan wins? YEAH, NOT! THINK AGAIN!

    And THEN, there’s this > THEY of globalist’s, etc TOP – down, globally are gonna take out ALL humanity IN, whether clueless or on purpose, accordance WITH this Holy War that Satan solely started against God 70 centuries ago, (voluntary & NON-voluntary suicide / murder, just so Satan can apparently SPITE God that & with, “LOOK AT THEM ALL, THEIR ALL GONE, THEIR (were) SUPPOSE TO HAVE BEEN YOUR / YOU’RE PRIDE & JOY . . .”

    And plus there’s then the > THEIR really not doing – all that they have done & do – do for really no reason, THEIR really just doing it to pass the tick tock ‘time’ . . .

    And worth noting, when Satan got defeated in the desert amidst Jesus’s testing, Satan just deemed, “Fine, I’ll just go after Jesus’s next best thing, HIS Little One’s (children / kid’s) THROUGH the adult’s.

    God gave us all each – embedded within all we’d ever need to self denyingly Holy Warrior rise up & represent Holy Trinity, as we were created to solely do so & THAT of care take of each & Earth, NOTHING off, EVER! THIS PLANET, Earth! It’s like One who goes after dessert before eating the main meal or like human evil weed’s overtaking the garden that is all else . . . PONDER THAT!

    Globalist’s, misc aren’t really doing what they plan on, their really just passing the time, evil – senselessly, & their talk of reducing 7 billion plus down to 500 million, huh, OH don’t think it’ll stop there, oh no, just so Satan who solely started this Holy War against God, can eventually ‘spite’ God with eventually exhibited all human eventually narrowed down & killed, like Satan’s timeless laughing off it’s ass at us (having put on a clueless humor show for that beast) & deeming to God, “LOOK AT THEM ALL, YOUR SO-CALLED PRIDE & JOY, THEIR SUPPOSE TO REPRESENT YOU?!”

    Huh, LISTEN . . . to our fellow human Brother, just another Son of Adam & Eve, Steven Frederic Seagal’s word’s very carefully & TAKE IT TO HEART! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz2NeCowTwU

    https://www.elanafreeland.com.

    Author: Paul L. Williams. https://books.google.com/books/about/Killing_the_Planet.html?id=u6qexQEACAAJ&source=kp_book_description

    Attachment’s are all in rtf – like doc, but I didn’t have MS Word so I had to use WordPad, & all are safe to read, download & share.

    re: archaeology, One’s own assigned eternal archived, recorded & documented Heaven Life Record, upon Coming Judgment Day, Jesus: “WHEN IN LIFE . . .”, will exhibit (record), they chose with all God’s given (gift’s, talent’s, skill’s & free will) to DIG HOLE’S in the ground, dealing with the past, & ALL & everything BUT HIS original given (in one way or another thereof) order’s 70 centuries > to self denyingly care take of each other & Earth, NOTHING off, EVER!

    YOU DAM WELL BETTER PONDER CHAVEZ’S WORD’S & EXHIBITED – VISUAL EMOTION’S!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX1ha-hADlU

    AND THAT of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Suu84khNGY

    Even with & like THOSE upon indian reservation (no respect for THE LAND) = New Mexico’s 7 mile’s down Dulce military base (& their just ONE amidst USA, despite global elsewhere), but press – on your computer keyboard the key’s Ctrl & ‘F’ & search / find keyword – type in: Level 6 & see thereof text wordage around thereof: https://www.crystalinks.com/undergroundbases.html

    Huh, past – tick tock ‘time’ TO DATE, just another example of GONE ROGUE from Holy Trinity! SELF chosen (to exhibitedly behave like) Lucifer’s / Satan’s human court jester’s with ALL God’s given ie: within each of us though varied > gift’s, talent’s, skill’s & free will to originally have been & was solely created to be God’s pride & joy, created in less than a day (on the 6th day, versus all else in the prior 5 day’s);

    And it’s NOT climate change, misc it’s that the Natural Balance is off nevertheless because of Adam & Eve & noting that what could & should have been done centuries ago, but still – worse = weed’s (allowed human evil, TOP Power) over taking the garden (all else below THEM), when we were originally nevertheless solely created for One purpose: to self denyingly be care taker’s of each other & this NON-human innocent dying Earth, NOTHING off, EVER!

    Though I’m just another drop in a bucket of a old homeless (5 plus year’s amidst Hermosa Beach of Los Angeles County, 90254) man, what do I know, right? Ugh, whatever . . .

    global extermination by 2025 – ‘?’ or ‘!’; DON’T mistake my word’s, I’m NO ONE’s threat, trying to REASON with you ALL. And don’t twist my word’s, Heaven & Holy Trinity KNOW (& guide me) to put out unto you THAT which HE, not me, wants to try & say, rely unto you all, since you all seemingly care less & that of care not to listen willingly, being ROGUE from HIM. Dam it . . .

    TELL ALL: I could put the Vatican to Holy shame, it’s ALL of & on NON-human innocent Earth eventually gonna BURN!

    . . . UH, NO, I’m NOT indeinal nor am I mentally ill nor crazy thus = haven’t been more sane & CLEAR . . . I’M not you’re nor anyone’s threat; THAT’D be bilderberg group, etc else of TOP Power, including those of the HIGHEST security clearance level: the sole 25 of ‘D-5’ (claiming to be the protector’s of that 200 year piece of toilet paper you human’s call the so-called, constitution), & then separately those of D.O.E. (Energy’s) ‘Q’ & ‘L’ level status, which nevertheless, ALL 3 of D-5, ‘Q’ & ‘L’ are allowed = can see ANYTHING, do ANYTHING, go ANYWHERE, are untouchable & NO have to answer to NO One, like WHAT? ‘The Syndicate’ in “X-Files”?

    Huh, TRY THIS on for size per / via you’re brain = global extermination by 2025, & whom (TOP Power deem that 9-1-1 was JUST a TEST to see just how the global masses would react & respond. https://soundcloud.com/groundzeromedia/pulling-the-shameless-plug-w-deborah-tavares-july-24-2019

    Deborah Tavares, (she lives in Sonoma County – Northern California), & is a activist with a research team – Email: Her website:NoSmartMeters@gmail.com, deboraht@sonic.net, http://www.stopthecrime.net, & check THIS podcast she did: YOU local – global humanity NEED to SERIOUS listen to, because ceasing of humanity is Coming, please & SHARE it! Or you can hear it here > https://soundcloud.com/groundzeromedia/the-genocide-agreement-w-deborah-tavares-february-8-2018

    Don’t take it personal, it’s – this is to THOSE amidst us 7 billion plus who ARE as such; if not you? God/Jesus KNOWS.

    born gay? UH NO / NOT, UGH YOU ‘F’-ING HUMAN PAGAN, , SELF CHOSEN (WITH ALL GOD’S GIVEN & ALLOWED YOU – TO LEARN & GAIN), LUCIFER / SATAN (The Beast is who solely started this Holy War against God 70 centuries ago & we nevertheless were created & suppose to HAVE BEEN God’s pride & joy) WHORE’S – COURT JESTER’S = LOSER’S . . . HEATHEN

    EVEN UNTO JESUS’S LITTLE INNOCENT ONE’S ie: CHILDREN / KID’S PER / VIA: “If ANYONE (adult’s) keep ANY of these Little One’s from me, they (adult’s) will NEVER see my Father!” YOU ALL, past – tick tock ‘time’ TO DATE, USA – global, TOP – down are gonna eventually – eternally BURN FOREVER in Hell / Lake of Fire ie: own individual archived, recorded & documented Heaven Life Record (everyone has One), believe NOT what you hear amidst you (masses & ugh society / culture ie: everyone’s doing it – it’s the newest thing), sigh, dam it . . . nothing’s changed in 70 centuries & ya don’t even ‘GET’ / know why you were truly created . . .

    And STILL tick tock ‘time’ TO DATE . . . huh, dam it, this whole place, everything, all of it, it’s just GONE (future past tense), NOTHING to me is more ‘!’ important that God’s wrath, not even NON-SELF owned me ( Jesus is gonna solely have HIS Father’s back (NOT our’s) no matter what . . . huh, you human’s . . . sigh, whatever, so be it!

    Just like say, Exodus 32, Genesis 19 to self denyingly care take of each of NON-human innocent Earth, NOTHING off Earth, & THAT of against THEM, the enemy? THEY are amidst us ever growing like weed’s in a garden, understand?! UGH!

    WE ALL (men & women adult’s who are physically capable, NOT Jesus’s Little One < children / kid's Holy Trinity no cares what One’s race or ethnicity is or where One’s from, even With OR WITHOUT Burka / Hijab, drive or don’t drive, (?) else (as should have always been for 70 centuries – TO DATE) we all whom are capable self denyingly Holy Warrior rise OR WE ALL ETERNALLY BURN, IN HELL – FOREVER, PERIOD! WE CLEAR?! AS YOU WERE . . .

    TOMORROW (tick tock ‘Time’ – generally speaking) is NOT promised to NO One < deemed by Holy Trinity & we all self own NOTHING, not breath, Soul, existence, NOTHING! We are a failed idea, pain in God's butt & exhibitedly behaved One of The WORST species of ALL (70 centuries – TO DATE < no progress, no change, misc)! WE SELF own NOTHING, NOT temporary tick tock 'time' breath (as Tomorrow is NOT promised to NO One) NOR eternal Soul (temporarily powering THAT temporary flesh – bone – 6 liter's blood filled – dust & ash of a physical corpse, like a AAA battery to a little portable radio), GET it?! Understand?! Luke 9:24.

    Don't take it personal, it's – this is to THOSE amidst us 7 billion plus who ARE as such; if not you? God/Jesus KNOWS.

    Even with Jews being chosen as God's People & WHAT? It's been exhibited that we (few) Gentile's have had to pick up the (however Holy Warrior) slack for these – you J's? Ugh, whatever.

    I've been since 'touched' by Holy Trinity, been given my Order's ie: SELF deny Holy Warrior Advocacy (like Luke 9:24) ie: either die for Holy Trinity in solely Holy Warrior representing HIM or eternally die with eventually Coming VAST (+) The Beast Lucifer / Satan < who is the sole starter of THIS Holy War against God!

    Having been originally created to be God's 'Pride & Joy' we are nevertheless tobe against The Beast Lucifer / Satan, NOT human exhibitedly behave like (it's) human whore & court jester ie: with ALL God gave & created within us ie: gift's, talent's, skill's & free will, having essentially given us ALL we'd EVER need to say, keep & maintain ALL 'right' per / via solely God's appeasement as HE just wanted to create something,

    BUT OH NO, THAT just wasn't / isn't enough, WAS ? IS it 70 centuries – tick tock (Time) TO DATE, USA – global?! And if ANY think they know why HIS sole Son Jesus truly came, huh, OH NO ya don't, because ya WON'T like it! As if to say, like a animated cartoon of a White streak down ALL adult's back . . . you have NO idea / clue, look around unto all exhibited . . .

    YEAH, it's ALL Coming unto a human incomprehensible WORSE END, THAT I can solely (faithfully – Hebrews 11:1) guarantee unto ALL TOP – down, USA – global humanity & I NO care WHO $$$ one is, ya HUMAN, & like passed MLK Jr said, "It's about CHARACTER, NOT color & with fool's out there: "I'm a 'LEAD-er'", uh NO, you're / they're a LOSER (S). SEE, they got their C's & L's mixed. Whatever, overall, sad but true.

  19. Today they said there is a hepatitis A epidemic in San Bernadino due to the homeless. Mayor of LA admitted prop 47 has tied the hand of cops and new should have been put in place. Dr. Drew should run for governor!!!

  20. Article explains the history of the issue, how the issue evolved to its current state and presents plans to address it. This needs to go viral

  21. Some half of foster youth will be homeless within a couple of years after they age out, and so much effort is going into trying to take better care of these kids so they don’t fall into the street–well-meaning, and missing a central fact. Roughly half of foster kids have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders–hardly any are diagnosed, since that diagnosis is so hard to get outside of Canada and three states in the Union. Instead they’re diagnosed with AD/HD, Bipolar, Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Autism…all of which may accurate capture some of the symptoms of what they’re dealing with, but not the fabric of difficulty thinking things through, staying calm, planning and judgment that come with FASD. 5% of the general population is on this spectrum (according to the CDC), yet FASD remains just about entirely invisible. It isn’t a mental illness, nor is it addiction–it’s like Autism in that sense. But unlike Autism it is not recognized as the debilitating condition it is, and people who have FASD are mostly shamed and blamed for not doing things right…

    This is brain damage. Most people with FASD look normal, sound normal, have normal IQ. But they function more like a drunk person, lurching from crisis to crisis, unless THEIR CONDITION IS RECOGNIZED. In which case supports can be brought to bear.

    Dr. Pinsky, I hope you read this. You have said that you’re aware of FASD, but you don’t include it in your formulation of homelessness, and that really misses a huge portion of the problem. Loads of good resources available, with Minnesota leading the pack here in the states: http://www.proofalliance.org. Or there’s ours, which is a pretty amateurish website (since i put it together), but it does have lots of great info: http://www.fasdnorcal.org.

  22. Dr. Drew, if you could wave a magic wand and design the perfect model, do you know what it would look like? How do you know it would get the results you seek?

    There is one such model that’s been designed, built and run by a group of social entrepreneurs that delivers results very close to what you would want.

  23. As a local Emergency Room doctor, I agree with this article’s author. We all have opinions, especially in this state, but few have daily interactions with the decompensation going on in our neighborhood, community & country to voice an informed one. The solutions being talked about in the news and social media are re-election window dressing at best (and more worrisome is the thought that some intelligent people actually believe the money spent on these things will fix problems). California has the resources for real solutions but continues to spend the money & votes on pipe dreams and headlines that sound good or make use feel good about ourselves. We have to realize (when it comes time to vote on any issues in our community) that most of the changes needed will not bear fruit within most election cycles or even our children’s early lives. There is no solution to our greater societal problems that will fix things within 4 years. This article focuses on homelessness and drug addiction but these are simply two symptoms of a much larger disease in our society. If we are truly concerned about solving these problems we must start by being honest with ourselves. Why do we want it solved and what am I willing to give up in my current life to make it happen. Time (volunteer), money (taxes), real estate value (what will I allow city to build next door to me to help solve it), etc… I fear our country no longer understands or has the stomach for any solution that does not deliver immediate gratification. We have come to believe our responsibility end after we click the Instagram “like” button on whatever trendy solution has been presented for today’s problem. We might even donate $1 to a GoFundMe page – but rarely much more. Writing this comment took 5 minutes and made me feel like I really contributed today. Did reading it?

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