Homeless in Pacific Palisades

A recent count revealed 58,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County. Of those there are 17,000 who are chronically homeless.

“The chronic homeless population — defined as those who have been on the streets at least a year or multiple times and suffering mental illness, addiction or physical disability — increased 20% to more than 17,000, despite increasing numbers placed into housing.”-LA Times

The problem of the homeless with severe mental illness seems almost insurmountable because this population often resists offers of assistance and current laws which prevent forced hospitalization state that a person must be a threat to themselves or others and unable to provide for their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.

This is a positive story about the efforts of a small Southern California community, how they were able to bring a homeless woman, known as Pretty Blonde, to the mental health care she needed and reunite her with family. I read about her in the LA Times article by Steve Lopez, The Mystery Homeless Woman of Pacific Palisades and the village that helped her home.

LA Time video about this story.

Featured image ‘Almond Blossoms’ by Vincent Van Gogh via wikimedia.


We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB is a monthly blogging group, hosted by Damyanti Biswas, that have come together to post news stories “that show love, brotherhood and humanity.” You can click on the link above if you would like to join in. WATWB is co-hosted this month by Michelle Wallace , Shilpa GargAndrea MichaelsPeter NenaEmerald Barnes. 

We Are the World Blogfest



16 thoughts on “Homeless in Pacific Palisades

  1. Ally Bean

    What an interesting story. I admire the stick-to-it-tive-ness of those people who eventually got the ill woman to the right place. Talk about doing a kindness to strangers. We all don’t always remember how lucky we are to be mentally healthy enough to care for ourselves, do we?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      The laws were created to protect people with mental illness from being institutionalized, hospitalized, or given treatment against their will. People are working with the homeless and mentally ill here. There were some bonds just passed that are going to fund millions of dollars for our homeless problems. It is just that with the laws meant to protect people it creates this fine line. In the article, I believe they said that there are agencies working to make it more flexible. I just like the example this case sets, that these homeless mentally ill people can be helped. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dan Antion

        My mother worked (switchboard) at a State Mental Hospital. I worked there one summer. It wasn’t perfect but neither were the programs they put in place before it closed. A lot of those patients ended up living on the street. I don’t have the answers, but I wish they had given it more though before acting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Deborah Drucker Post author

        There wasn’t a good community mental health system in place in many places. Now I think it needs to be outreach. I know here there is talk about having Case Managers at the shelters to work on getting people off the streets into housing and hooked up with treatment. It is going to take some time though because there are so many people who need help. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. datmama4

    What patience and perseverence everyone involved must have had in order to get this woman to trust them enough to help, and to find out her identity. How wonderful for her parents to have her home again and getting the help she needs.

    Liked by 1 person



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