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The line for unemployment benefits in San Francisco, in 1938
The line for unemployment benefits in San Francisco, in 1938. Currently the U.S. unemployment rate has reached 14.7% — a level unseen since the depths of the Great Depression / Photograph by Dorothea Lange

June 26, 2020

Analysis on unemployment projects 40-45% increase in homelessness this year

Columbia University economist estimates 800,000 Americans could be experiencing homelessness by summer

An analysis conducted by Dr. Brendan O’Flaherty, a professor of economics at Columbia University, projects an increase in homelessness by 40-45% this year over January 2019, an addition of nearly 250,000 people, if homelessness follows unemployment the way that it has done so in the earlier part of this century.

The U.S. unemployment rate has reached 14.7% — a level unseen since the depths of the Great Depression in 1933. A number of respected models predict unemployment has not reached its peak.

“This is unprecedented. No one living has seen an increase of 10% of unemployment in a month.”

Dr. O’Flaherty, professor of economics at columbia university


June 24, 2020

Video: Tackling California’s Homelessness Crisis


The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified California’s homelessness crisis while significantly straining the state budget. In an online event last Friday, Los Angeles County supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg talked with PPIC’s Mark Baldassare about what California can do to address homelessness during this unprecedented time.


June 15, 2020

What Los Angeles’s Homeless Count Results Tell Us

While the pandemic forced government agencies to work with unprecedented speed to move thousands of homeless Californians into hotel and motel rooms, housing advocates are worried that people who have lost jobs in the current economic crunch will also become homeless, essentially overwhelming that progress.



June 12, 2020

Union Rescue Mission: Heroes in Our Community

Making something out of nothing is a true gift. Heroes in our community!


Union Rescue Mission on YouTube

June 10, 2020

GET HELP App Creates Better Access to Treatment

By Dr. Tony Greco

Dr. Tony Greco is a disability rights advocate for mental health and addiction support and the founder of GET HELP.

In 1977, my parents met in an AA meeting. My mom was still a teenager and my dad had a couple of years sober in the program. She was a troubled youth; in addition to alcoholism, he could not read or write, and suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness. They found comfort in one another, as new people in recovery often do. If the stories can be believed, they married shortly after she got pregnant. And again, as new people in recovery often do, my mom relapsed and would not get sober for another 23 years. In 2001, that unexpected baby she had as a teenager, now a young man, picked her up from a psych hospital to drive her to American Hospital in downtown Los Angeles for, what would hopefully be, her last detox.


June 4, 2020

Coping Tips for Traumatic Events and Disasters

People can experience a wide range of emotions before and after a disaster or traumatic event. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. However, it’s important to find healthy ways to cope when these events happen.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Eating a healthy diet, avoiding the use of drugs and alcohol, and getting regular exercise can reduce stress and anxiety. Activities as simple as taking a walk, stretching, and deep breathing can help relieve stress.

  • Limit your consumption of news. We live in a society where the news is available to us 24 hours a day via television, radio, and the Internet. The constant replay of news stories about a disaster or traumatic event can increase stress and anxiety and make some people relive the event over and over. Reduce the amount of news you watch and/or listen to, and engage in relaxing activities to help you heal and move on.
  • Get enough “good” sleep. Some people have difficulty falling asleep after a disaster, or wake up throughout the night. If you have trouble sleeping, only go to bed when you are ready to sleep, avoid using cell phones or laptops in bed, and avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol at least one hour before going to bed. If you wake up and can’t fall back to sleep, try writing what’s on your mind in a journal or on a sheet of paper.
  • Establish and maintain a routine. Try to eat meals at regular times and put yourself on a sleep schedule to ensure an adequate amount of rest. Include a positive or fun activity in your schedule that you can look forward to each day or week. Schedule exercise into your daily routine as well, if possible.
  • Avoid making major life decisions. Doing things like switching jobs or careers can already be stressful and are even harder to adjust to directly after a disaster.



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