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Reader Supports Proposition 1

The text of Proposition 1 on the March ballot is fascinating: “One in 20 adults in California is living with a serious mental illness”; and “One in 13 children in California has a serious emotional disturbance.” In addition, 82% of homeless Californians reported experiencing a serious mental health condition, and 65% of them were regular users of illicit drugs at some point in their lives.
In Glendale, the annual count of homeless individuals, according to its annual Homeless Count Report, indicates that at any one time there are about 90 homeless and unsheltered persons. Also, 80% of Glendale homeless come from outside city borders, according to the staff of homeless services in Glendale. Of those, 11 declared that it was due to rent increases. The typical trajectory to homelessness: losing a job, not paying rent, getting evicted, exhausting family support, getting kicked out from friends’ homes to the street.
Homelessness is primarily a mental health issue. Domestic violence, drug dependency and mental illness are the drivers that eventually lead to homelessness. But the narrative so popular with candidates during elections is that the cause is rent increases. It can’t be the case when 80% of the homeless come into the city from elsewhere. Not when a statewide initiative confirms the real source of the problem.
A yes vote on Prop 1 is a necessity and places the focus where it belongs. Prop 1 also addresses affordable housing to the most in need.

Herbert A. Molano

First published in the February 24 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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