News flash! Every week, following the Board meeting, Supervisor Kuehl picks five items you might find interesting, important, and/or fun. It’s your way to get a quick rundown of several highlights of the meeting in no more than 5 minutes! Looking for more? Click here to get the entire agenda.
Photo: I was delighted to welcome graduates of the Hospitality Training Program, one of the County’s apprenticeship partnerships that pair on-the-job training with classroom instruction.
Board and Care Crisis
This week, the Board passed a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn, which I co-authored, that puts for a plan to preserve (and ideally expand) available beds at Board and Care facilities, which have been closing at an alarming rate, leaving our low-income seniors extremely vulnerable.
The plan advances several high-priority needs including a deferred maintenance fund for operations, the creation of a bed-tracking tool, expansion of Department of Mental Health/Department of Health Services enhanced rate slots, opportunities for state advocacy to increase reimbursement rates, and data on bed closures. The motion also directs the Center for Strategic Partnerships to explore philanthropy opportunities.
With a rapidly aging population and a disturbing uptick in senior homelessness, these facilities are critical to care for our most vulnerable residents. This week’s motion will ultimately help us preserve, and hopefully expand, Board and Care beds.
Safe Food Delivery Initiative
In an age where there is an app for everything, new tools of convenience sometimes bring about unintended challenges. A disturbing report from CB SLA showed third party delivery drivers eating customer’s food, prompting questions about food safety and consumer rights in regards to these apps. This week Supervisor Kathryn Barger put forth a motion to look into how we can address the questions raised by this investigative report.
Concerns about food safety related to third party delivery apps are valid, and it is imperative to keep consumers safe. At this time, apps like Grubhub, Door Dash, and Postmates are not subject to any regulatory framework that can prevent food from being tampered with in transit or assure the food’s quality and quantity remains unchanged for the paying customer. This motion initiates a convening of representatives from such food delivery service apps, public health officials, the California Restaurant Association, and other stakeholders to discuss and report back to the Board with recommendations on how to prevent food contamination and practice food safety.
LA Phil & Ford Theatres
This Tuesday, we voted on a proposal I authored to transfer the operation of the John Anson Ford Theatres to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Under the agreement, The Philharmonic Association would begin operating the Ford Theatres on December 1, 2019, and would be responsible for programming starting with the 2020 season.
Over the years, the Ford Theatres, which plays an essential role in LA’s cultural life, has presented a diverse calendar of events representing music and dance styles reflective of the communities that comprise Los Angeles County. The County recently invested $80 million in an extensive renovation of the historic 1,200-seat outdoor amphitheater, solidifying the venue as a cultural landmark. The LA Phil embraces the Ford Theatres’ commitment to supporting local artists, diverse communities, and multidisciplinary presentations, and the joining of these two creative powerhouses will yield extraordinary results for the residents of LA County.
The LA Phil has been doing phenomenal work at the Hollywood Bowl for nearly 50 years, and I am confident that they will bring that level of excellence and artistry to the Ford Theatres.
Transitional Housing for Emancipated Non-Minors
The County’s obligation to foster youth doesn’t end when they turn 18. Former foster youth are much more likely to experience homelessness and other challenges, so transitional housing programs are so essential to guide the transition in young adulthood and set them on a healthy, stable path. I am so pleased that the Board passed two motions expanding these programs using State funds.
The first motion will lead to a 33% expansion in beds and services for the Transitional Housing Placement Program for Non-Minor Dependents Services. THP-NMD is a licensed placement for youth ages 18-21 who are participating in extended foster care, which was established by Assembly Bill 12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act. In addition to housing, youth in this program have access to comprehensive support services.
The second motion marks a 50% increase in beds for the Transitional Housing Program Plus Services. Through this program, foster-involved young adults ages 18-24, including those formerly supervised by probation, have a safe place to call home in addition to supportive services like educational guidance, employment counseling, and access to social workers.
Restorative Care Villages
The Board approved funding and budgets for three Restorative Care Villages at Olive View Medical Center, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, and LAC + USC Medical Center. Restorative Care Villages include recuperative care centers and residential treatment programs, providing a clinically enriched for of interim housing that offers on-site nursing support, health oversight, case management, and linkage to permanent housing.
In the third district, the project at Olive View Medical Center, located in Sylmar, will include 48 recuperative care beds, 80 crisis residential beds, and a 10,000 square foot Psychiatric Urgent Care Center, which will be located near the crisis residential treatment to facilitate treatment and transfer of patients. These Restorative Care Villages are a key element in the County’s ambitious efforts to reduce and prevent homelessness and will bring urgently-needed interim housing to patients who would otherwise return to the streets after being discharged from County facilities.
The villages will be dedicated to meeting the needs of some of the County’s most vulnerable populations. On-site services will enable patients to move easily to the appropriate level of care, to support community reintegration for people with mental health disorders, victims of violence and abuse, substance use, serious disabilities, and psychosocial and economic challenges.