Typhus Epidemic Worsens in Los Angeles

Is California joining the roster of failed states like Venezuela and Haiti?


Generally speaking, Typhus is an “overcrowding and filth” disease. It appears this outbreak is in places where there are a lot of homeless, so it’s not terribly surprising that such diseases would show up.

I’m no expert on California, but it sometimes seems “third world” in the sense that there is enormous wealth but also terrible poverty. It is not unreasonable, however, to speculate that most of the homelessness is not due to the economy of the state so much as it is due to drug use and mental disease.


Are you sure?

The articles I linked show CA as spiraling up.

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Where ever it is it’s a blight on our society…not just California…go to youtube and look at dashcam videos that people are taking driving around some of the major cities here in the US…it really is scary to see where some people are living and the squalor in which they are living…it’s like scenes from 3rd world countries

Turning parts of California into a third-world country.

There is also the issue regarding living cost, it seems like housing costs are crowding out living expenses and it’s becoming a burden not just for the poor and working class but even the middle classes as well. Additionally, are you sure people aren’t stereotyping homelessness due to one faction which doesn’t necessarily represent all homeless; for example there may be more hidden homeless such as working class folks who can’t afford paying rent or a security deposit, a family struggling through a rough patch, e, or a women fleeing a toxic relationship such as domestic violence. Furthermore, there are issues regarding the homeless system of care itself, for example, shelters can become overcrowded and be prone to safety issues which don’t make them safe havens and sanctuaries for those in need. And finally, for those who fall under the sector of mental illness and substance abuse, perhaps it is due to experience of living on the streets and without the stable roof which causes them to “lose it” so to speak. I understand there is a historical context regarding deinstitutionization but how would you respond to the argument that the policy failed or wasn’t really completed optimally due to a lack of availability and dearth of community-based treatment, care and support for those in need?

Still … there are better alternatives rather than living under a plastic tarpaulin up on the curb.

What if it’s the only one they can find or at the very least, the only one they can find at the moment.

Possibly in L.A. there are no means of aid to those homeless who are not drug addicted or mentally diseased. But one questions it when, in places nowhere near as rich as Cal (like the Ozarks) there are shelters for women fleeing abuse, subsidized housing, temporary housing run by charities.

I didn’t say all homeless are addicted or insane. But nearly all are. I have worked with a shelter for homeless families, and there are some who are just down on their luck. But there aren’t many.

Deinstitutionalization did not happen due to lack of facilities. I am aware of families who had institutionalized relatives in facilities (while they lasted) that were half empty. Deinstitutionalization happened because courts decided they unduly impinged on the freedom of those who were in them. Not surprisingly, the states (which ran them) saw such rulings as a way out of a large expenditure and shut them down. But further court rulings (at least here) have led to the ever-increasing requirement for “independence” so that now even group homes are being shut down in favor of independent living (usually subsidized rental housing) with supervision.

Problem is, people can just walk out of those facilities, and some never get there. You can’t just capture a person and put him/her into supervised living just because he/she is insane or drug addicted.

I have a relative who is a psych NP. She worked for a time in a “last resort” facility where police would bring street people who were in danger of death from freezing or starvation. The facility could not keep them very long. They would scramble to get the person properly medicated and fed, but then they would have to turn them loose. That same person would almost always return within a month or two, in worse condition than before.

Police and people who work in “last resort” units will tell you there’s really no “fix” for it because of the impossibility of “restricting their freedom” for longer than 96 hours at a time.


Possibly in L.A. there are no means of aid to those homeless who are not drug addicted or mentally diseased. But one questions it when, in places nowhere near as rich as Cal (like the Ozarks) there are shelters for women fleeing abuse, subsidized housing, temporary housing run by charities.

There are resources but is there enough to meet the end? While I admit, saying there is no help would be an exaggeration but there could be issues such as a domestic violence shelter being overcrowded and perhaps being forced to turn away those in need. And where there are shelters, they may not necessarily be sanctuaries or safe and comfortable havens for those in need.

I didn’t say all homeless are addicted or insane. But nearly all are.

If I may please ask, are you sure about that sir? Chronic homelessness only makes a faction of those who are homeless yet it seems to color the discussions regarding not only homelessness but perhaps also the greater issue of poverty itself. It seems as if more hidden forms of poverty may be ignored such as folks who are quietly struggling to make ends meet, they live paycheck to paycheck without any savings and are only one crisis away from streets. People like the fellow depicted in this game simulating life as a working poor family or folks helped out by charities like this one (granted Modest Needs probably focuses more on working class folks than those in destitution).

Additionally, thank you for shedding light on the further rulings regarding deinstitutionalization but from what I understand Reagan didn’t exactly help when he ended up cutting mental health funding.

Over 30 years ago, when Reagan was elected President in 1980, he discarded a law proposed by his predecessor that would have continued funding federal community mental health centers. This basically eliminated services for people struggling with mental illness.

Typhus, homelessness, and drug addiction are all spiraling up in CA too.

Drugs are mainly responsible as the means to reach the lowest level of survival and never having a life of hope. One of the most needed prevention to this ravage is to stop the flood of drugs into our country. Drugs are always a part of the evils crossing our borders. The numerous diseases that have escalated, and some that never originated in the US, are a result. It must be stopped.

I think you might be just a bit eager to blame Reagan for something he didn’t do. In my state, at least, there was not a funding crisis for institutions. They were being funded. It was court insistence that people be given the “least restrictive environment” or no restrictions at all. Institutions were highly restrictive. In any event they were state-funded and state-operated, not federal.

Today, there are plenty of community mental health centers. I know people who work in one. They base their charges on peoples’ income if they don’t have health coverage. Most of their funding is federal. (Medicare, Medicaid, some direct grants) Some of their funding is state.

They base their charges on peoples’ income if they don’t have health coverage. But what if the costs continue to be too burdensome for those in need (in this case, I’ll admit I’m being a bit embittered from personal experience with a community health center).

Also regarding institutions, do we really want to go back to that era, I mean the asylums weren’t known as sanctuaries and safe havens for those in need, more like prisons? Why not provide more intensive community care and social support for the various populations in need (not just the mentally ill (not all of whom require residential care but other disadvantaged populations who could benefit from a revamped social and human service sector)? Pardon for being too idealistic and naive.

Unfortunately I work in downtown LA acme walk past a number of homeless people throughout the day. The problem has gotten worse in numbers though the powers that be do try several things to manage the situation as best they can. Mental illness is a big piece.

It’s sad to see them arguing with someone that isn’t there and the other visible signs. But it is difficult. If the city gets to heavy handed they risk liability. Also, I’m not sure there are enough shelters.

My solution would be similar to what Kansas did, except it would be slightly out of town due to property value issues. I see sheds at Hone Depot that meet code for $8k -$17k (a 120 sq ft - a small 2 floor 1 bd). Seems cheaper than the policing costs in the current model.

No need to speculate to a future need when there’s no basis to do it. Sorry if your community health center didn’t serve you well. Sometimes regular clinics don’t either.

There is a great deal of community-based mental health care. But at a certain point it really can’t help. One of the things so frequently occurring among the mentally ill is their insistence that they are not mentally ill. Police will sometimes pick up a homeless person in freezing weather with money and prescriptions in his pocket. Frequently, homeless people are “wanderers”. They might be in Siloam Springs today and Springfield tomorrow, Tulsa the week after that.

And I dispute that all residential institutions were “prisons”. I have visited people who lived in them before they were eliminated, and they were not prisons.

And I worked in the last real “orphanage” in St. Louis years ago. It was more like a family than it was like a prison.

Ahhh…Democrat urban development in Detroit

One wonders whether they’ll stay in them, though. As I mentioned before, sometimes homeless people are found with cash or uncashed checks in their pockets; money they could use to get lodging. They just don’t.

Isn’t 89th and Troost in Missouri? I used to live in KC, but it has been a long time.

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