Los Angeles officials are looking into options for getting homeless with severe mental illnesses off the county's streets.
On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors instructed the Department of Mental Health to research what legal options officials have at their disposal to compel people into treatment if it's believed they're so gravely disabled, they can't make decisions for themselves.
The move comes as city and county agencies in L.A., backed by new taxpayer dollars, are making major investments in tackling the region's growing homeless problem. As they do so, there are questions the supervisors want answered about whether a small percentage of homeless will refuse all attempts to get them into stable housing.
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Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County Supervisor representing the 5th District; she authored the request for the Department of Mental Health to research legal options for involuntary hospitalization
Carol Sobel, a civil rights attorney who has represented L.A.'s homeless in federal courts
Jonathan E. Sherin, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
Dorothy Edwards, formerly homeless and a current advocate for the Corporation for Supportive Housing’s “SpeakUp!” program; a housing solutions organization