Health and wellbeing sit at the core of a person’s ability to live life as they see fit. Whether an injury that hinders a person’s ability to work and earn an income or disability that makes traveling to various appointments onerous, it is easy to see the many ways that ill health can lead to, or exacerbate, housing insecurity and homelessness. People living with mental health challenges regularly face barriers to securing and maintaining employment (Poremski et al., 2014) and that lack of secure employment can lead to homelessness, where we can observe an overrepresentation of people living with serious mental illnesses (Perry and Craig, 2015). Additionally, often for people that are struggling to maintain housing, the job opportunities available to them are temporary, inconsistent in pay/benefits, and can be dangerous (Shier et al., 2012). These realities of employment may not only compound existing mental or physical health challenges but could even create new ones that destabilize employment, financial, and housing stability. Finally, structural challenges such as environmental racism and inequities in health services compound the issue of high healthcare costs in America for those most at risk of housing insecurity and homelessness (Spalter-Roth and Lowenthal, 2005).
On August 23rd, we explored these themes through emerging research, learnings from lived experiences of homelessness, rising best practices, and discussion of ongoing intersectional dynamics between research, policy and practice. Together we sought to create deeper understandings of how equitable health interventions can increase housing and housing stability, and how housing itself can act as a form of healthcare and community wellness.
Presenters and Panelists:
Vanessa Rios, Senior Advisor, Workforce Development, LAHSA
Ian Costello, Program Manager, CSH
Jayden Alexander, Life Skills Advocate, Housing Works
Celina Alvarez, Executive Director, Housing Works
LaVonna Lewis, PhD, MPH, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D., Executive Director, Racial Equity, Los Angeles County CEO
Gary Painter, Director, Homelessness Policy Research Institute
Saba Mwine, Managing Director, Homelessness Policy Research Institute
Seth Pickens, Director, Realization Project, Economic Roundtable
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