It seems every candidate running for office in California is promising to end the unhoused crisis. In 2017, UC Irvine and the United Way of Orange County commissioned a significant study on the cost of people without housing. At that time, the study estimated that the average unhoused person in OC costs $45,000 in various services to keep on the streets.
The study determined that the major factors precipitating homelessness in the sample (in order of frequency of mention) are:
- Securing or retaining jobs with sustainable wages (40%)
- Finding or retaining affordable housing, including evictions and foreclosures (36%)
- Family issues, which include domestic violence, family dysfunction, relationship dissolution and death of a family member (28%)
- Alcohol and/or drug addiction (22%)
- Mental health (17%)
- Physical health (13%)
- Release from jail/prison (7%)
Since that time, things have gotten worse. The average cost in LA is over $200,000. Last year, my wife joined a volunteer initiative to help the unhoused get back on track. She spends many hours every week combing the beach and parks, engaging directly with people without housing to find them helpful programs that are mostly underutilized. Through her experience, I have come to realize a dynamic I did not understand.
Many people without housing are in a downward spiral that may start with the loss of a job or family member and turn into serious drug addiction that results in an irreversible mental health condition. This may sound obvious, but I did not realize how fast things could deteriorate until she showed me photos of people regressing rapidly when experiencing homelessness. It is tragic!
There are many programs that are attempting to help them out with varying degrees of success. But there is one factor that is not working and that is to allow people experiencing homelessness to remain homeless and live on the street. They will die there. It is not a solution. And it should not be an option they can choose. They are not better off. And giving them a tent or tiny house is not the answer. In fact, it makes it far easier for the drug dealers to target them and others to steal from them and hurt them. Plus, it costs far more to administer the medical and mental services they so desperately need.
What we need are professional intervention teams to help them off the street and into managed programs that fit their situation and enable them to progress to higher levels of independence and self-actualization. With the right programs, which are already in place, some will advance to become productive citizens. Others will not. But it is clear to me that the current method of living on the street is not an active choice. It is devastating to their health and safety any way you measure it. Nor is it good for the rest of us who are fortunate enough to have a place we call home. Being unhoused and living on the street should no longer be accepted or an option. And if needed, the police should be empowered to enforce the laws that have been restricted in recent years due to ordinances designed to protect their freedom to die in public.
Please feel free to reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-376-8404.
Client Spotlight: C3 Tech
C3 Tech is kicking off summer by joining Young Company's repertoire of clients. For over 25 years C3 Tech has been a premier technology solutions provider servicing businesses in Orange County. Custom technology packages designed around the needs of businesses is a service that many business owners are wary of, and yet C3 Tech has built their clientele primarily through referrals. How? By remaining committed to whiteglove service, and having a much more personal approach to cutting edge technology solutions and support.
Employee Spotlight: Robyn Young DeTorres
Effective marketing strategy requires clever and creative use of today's technology and information. However, to really capture and move an audience, marketing needs to have heart, vision, and passion. Robyn brings a fresh and unique perspective to strategic marketing and refuses to hold back her passion when engaging with her clients. Her fun and bold concepts come with a deeply developed set of skills and experience garnered from over two decades of trend setting and market strategy that has often defined the industry. Her father, Bart Young, continued HIS father's legacy and was able to preserve it by guiding his daughter in the business, anywhere she found joy. Growing up in the second-generation full-service marketing agency, Robyn was provided with limitless opportunity to learn, grow, and truly develop her mark on the industry.
Over the course of the next 20 years, Robyn allowed her curiosity and passion to develop her career, touching every marketing medium and channel she could explore. Her desire to make a client's vision real continues to fuel her brilliant creative flair; and driving the family agency means the ideas and strategies implemented can be measured and enhanced with the latest industry tools, software, talent, and minds.
Harnessing her family's legacy and lifelong love of technology, Robyn connects with her clients by listening to them and bringing their branding message to life. She knows that it's not just about forming an effective marketing campaign. Sharing her positive light to connect people, explore ideas, and give hope to visions is what drives Robyn's passion and how she continues to grow her creativity, her business, and her technical talents everyday.