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Rina Palta is a Correspondent for KPCC, covering Southern California's social safety net.
Prior to that, Rina was a news editor for the station. She also covered crime and public safety as a reporter, looking at the systems designed to help people who fall into poverty, social welfare, public mental health systems, or criminal justice system — and help many get back on their feet.
Rina came to L.A. from the Bay Area, where she launched the Informant, a digital collaboration between NPR and KALW. Her reporting there focused on California's prison, jails, and law enforcement agencies, and the effect of crime and the criminal justice system on communities.
Palta is a graduate of Haverford College and UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. In her spare time, she's a world-class eater and aspiring surfer.
Stories by Rina Palta
Public officials and homeless advocates in L.A., poised on the brink of a windfall in funds to combat homelessness, began debating how to use that money Thursday.
Los Angeles County officials are looking into options for getting homeless with severe mental illnesses off the county's streets, including forced treatment.
L.A. officials have begun the long process of building housing for formerly homeless. But they're also looking for more immediate ways of getting people off the streets.
A new state bill aims to help make being a foster parent easier and thereby decrease the use of group homes for small children.
Homeless families can't get into overflowing shelters in South Los Angeles. Local leaders are looking for solutions.
As San Bernardino fights to rehab its image and attract private investment, the president's proposed budget cuts could throw a wrench in revitalization efforts.
Facing a continuing shortage of foster homes, Los Angeles County is hoping to make it easier for foster parents to take in very young children.
President Donald Trump's proposed budget, which calls for dramatic cuts to public programs, would complicate L.A's efforts to end homelessness.
L.A.'s traffic issues, among other problems, are hampering one of the child welfare system's basic functions: getting foster kids face time with their parents.
Because homeless children have such high rates of truancy, school districts around the county are losing millions in funding as the population of homeless students grows.
L.A. County supervisors could change the bail system so that inmates would be released based on their criminal history and risk to the community, not on their ability to pay a set amount.
With Tuesday's electoral victory, leaders in L.A. seem to have the money they need to tackle the area's growing homeless crisis. Now the pressure is on to make good on their promises.
Tuesday is Election Day in Los Angeles County and perhaps the biggest item on the ballot is Measure H, a sales tax to fund services for the homeless.
The state receives about $29 billion annually in federal funding for social safety net programs like food stamps (CalFresh), cash welfare (CalWORKs), foster care, and social security. Poverty advocates are bracing for potential cuts to some programs.
There is currently a shortfall of 2,200 shelter beds in LA County, forcing many of the current shelters to hit capacity at night. The Board of Supervisors is considering a plan to fill the gap.