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City Watch: Homeless Population Grows in Artesia and Cerritos

Is homelessness a problem here in Cerritos and Artesia? Nearly three-dozen community volunteers canvassed the streets of Cerritos and Artesia during the period between January 29-31 between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight with input from residents and the Cerritos Sheriff Department to find out.

Is homelessness a problem here in Cerritos and Artesia? Nearly three-dozen community volunteers canvassed the streets of Cerritos and Artesia during the period between January 29-31 between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight with input from residents and the Cerritos Sheriff Department to find out.

Note: This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the homeless here in Cerritos and Artesia. Los Cerritos Community Newspaper would like to remind our readers that if you have a comment about the situation, please feel free to post your views below this post.

By Rico Dizon

Is homelessness a problem here in Cerritos and Artesia?  Nearly three-dozen community volunteers canvassed the streets of Cerritos and Artesia during the period between January 29-31 between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight with input from residents and the Cerritos Sheriff Department to find out.

The Artesia/Cerritos Homeless Count Report, as it was called, revealed thirty homeless individuals in the cities, one living on the streets for over 15 years.

The volunteers also determined that the oldest among the homeless is a 65 year-old woman. Nine of those surveyed had signs or symptoms of mental illness. Ten individuals had visited a local hospital emergency room in the last three months with the average visit costing $1,639.  The combined ER and inpatient care costs for the homeless amounted to $81,351 annually.

The survey also revealed that eight have serious health conditions, thirteen have history of substance abuse, four are over 50 years, and one is a veteran.

In addition to gathering the names, pictures, and dates of births of individuals sleeping on the streets and makeshift shelters in the two cities, the ten teams of volunteers also captured data on the homeless’ institutional history, patterns of shelter use, and previous housing situation.

City officials are hoping that these findings will be used to “target new and available housing and service resources to reduce homelessness for the most vulnerable” in the cities of Artesia and Cerritos.

“It is also hoped that it will reduce the high cost of health care and hospitalization associated with them,” said Marina N. Flores, MSW, Director of Housing Programs for Our Place Housing Solutions.

Flores stressed several key points about the survey results during this month’s regular City Council meeting in Artesia that was held on April 8.

Councilman Victor Manalo believed that “thirty homeless people represent quite a large number for the two adjoining cities.”

Manalo thanked Flores for what he called a “highly informative and valuable report.”

Manalo even offered support from city officials during his remarks by stating, “please tell us what assistance the City can give in support of your worthy and noble undertaking as it moves to the next level.”

Mayor Sally Flowers suggested, that city staff contact the mental health facility near Gridley Road and 184th Street to determine if they “can provide for homeless individuals with mental health issues.”

The current campaign is a project of the Gateway Council of Government also known as COG. It is partnered with an organization called People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) to work on reducing homelessness in Los Angeles County.

PATH divided LA County into 4 Local Coordinating Agencies, LCA’s. “LCA 3” consists of Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Compton, Downey, Lynwood, Norwalk and Paramount.

“This is a huge step in the right direction,” Artesia Mayor Flowers concluded.

 

 

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McMahon, J.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013 Homeless are Breeding in borderline hoods between these cities, nocturnal underground movement, in order to evade patrols: • E Lakewood • Haw Gardens • S Cerritos • E Cerritos • W. La Palma • W.Cypress Ashamed of the councils and lack of police to aid them. Cerritos has vacant box buildings and could be used for Triage Centers for staging homeless, unemployed, hungry and medical urgencies. Vacant: Museum | 166th St Warehouses | Studebaker Dirt Lot | Underground Parking Basement @ City Hall. Shame on CCC to eat caviar like foods, appointees to order double meals… Read more »