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Housing and Homelessness

LA City Council Votes To Create A Volunteer Medical Corps To Treat The Unhoused Community

A man, who is a community health worker, wearing a black shirt, black sunglasses and white face mask reaches into a truck stocked with medical supplies. The white truck is parked in front of a green hotel with orange trim. The hotel is part of the Project Roomkey program that temporarily houses unhoused people.
Joseph Becerra, a community health worker, grabs medical supplies in front of a Project Roomkey location.
(Ethan Ward
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The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion to create a volunteer medical corps that would work with the L.A. Fire Department to give non-emergency medical treatment to unhoused people.

Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who co-authored the motion, says this could lead to better health outcomes for the unhoused and reduce demand on the LAFD's Emergency Medical Services Bureau.

"L.A. as we know, is home to a large number of major research and teaching hospitals, with thousands of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals," Buscaino said. "Yet over a thousand Angelenos die on our street every year."

The motion says many unhoused people lack access to preventative medical care.

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Buscaino, a mayoral candidate, is also trying to get a measure on the November ballot prohibiting unhoused people from camping in public spaces once enough shelter has been built.

The measure calls for reducing the salaries of the mayor, city attorney and city council members if goals to reduce homelessness are not met.

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