Is this an isolated incident?

by Honesty 5 Replies latest social current

  • Honesty
    An image taken from a Los Angeles Union Rescue Mission surveillance video camera shows Carol Reyes,...

    L.A. Investigating Alleged Patient Dumping
    Friday, March 24, 2006 1:08 PM EST
    The Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities are examining a surveillance tape that shows an elderly woman wandering Skid Row in a hospital gown and slippers as they investigate the practice of hospitals and police agencies dumping homeless people downtown.

    Carol Ann Reyes, 63, of Gardena, was taken from a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Bellflower on Monday to the downtown area known as Skid Row, authorities said.

    A surveillance camera outside the Union Rescue Mission showed Reyes walking from the direction of a taxi that had just driven away. She wandered the street for about three minutes before a mission staff member brought her inside.

    City officials have been looking into the alleged dumping of homeless people in Skid Row, a ramshackle area downtown.

    Several hospitals have acknowledged that they put some discharged indigent patients with nowhere else to go into taxicabs headed to the area because it offers a chance for getting services and shelter. Los Angeles police also are investigating whether other law enforcement agencies dump people without anywhere else to go downtown.

    "We have been looking into homeless dumping for some time, and this (tape) gives us another example of what has been going on," said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney's office.

    Diana Bonta, vice president of public affairs for Kaiser Southern California, said the hospital attempted to find a shelter for Reyes, but when that failed, it was determined that she would be taken to the Union Rescue Mission. Hospital officials are trying to find out why Reyes, who was in the hospital after suffering a bad fall, was left on the street still wearing her hospital gown and slippers.

    The incident violated hospital policy and will not occur again, she said.

    "We have a policy of treating our patients with compassion and care," Bonta said. "This should not have happened."

    Andy Bales, president the Union Rescue Mission, where Reyes remained, said the incident was the third in the past week in which security cameras caught taxis dropping people in the area. The problem will continue until a coordinated discharge plan between hospitals and shelters is created, he said.

    "We just can't drop people off like baggage," he said. "We can't have a society where these people have nowhere to turn when they need care."

    State Sen. Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles, a Democrat, has introduced a bill that would prohibit any arresting agency from taking people who need drug treatment, mental health services or shelter outside their jurisdiction.

    Los Angeles County officials are also considering establishing five regional homeless centers in an attempt to reduce dumping, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

    The regional homeless centers plan would spread the responsibility of caring for the homeless to suburbs instead of concentrating it downtown, the newspaper said. Each 30-bed center would operate 24-hours a day and would accept people from hospitals, police and care providers. The goal would be to find the resident permanent housing and services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment, officials said.

  • LDH

    No it is not an isolated incident. It is a way hospitals in that city have been getting rid of the indigent and or mentally ill for years. They have been filmed doing this.


    Kaiser, THRIVE THIS!!!!! Class

  • damselfly

    That is so sad.

    How can they do that in good conscience?


  • blondie

    I have known them to dump them at another hospital.

  • Highlander

    Even the police from departments outside of Los Angeles have been known to dump criminals in downtown LA. Recently the LA police department had been ordered

    to stop and question anyone driving a "foreign" police car within the downtown Los Angeles area. This type of thing has been going on for years. It's always easier to

    'pass the buck' then it is to fix the problem.

  • Nina

    At one time I worked for a medical practitioner in Littlerock, CA which is near the Palmdale/Lancaster area, a good long drive from downtown Los Angeles or from the San Fernando Valley (over the hill from Los Angeles).

    One of the regular patients kept telling us stories about the LA Police making raids on the homeless district, putting the people into vans and police cars and dumping them in our area. We thought the patient was making it up.

    Fast forward to the day I spent running errands in Palmdale. There, on the sidewalks, were *many* of the homeless people we had placed literature with in street work in the Los Angeles area! Now how is it that so many of the LA homeless suddenly decided to relocate to cardboard boxes in the desert?

    More and more homeless appeared as the months went on. One morning I met up with a congregational favorite, "James the Bum"! James dressed in African-style robes, wouldn't wear anything made of leather, wore red nail polish, and gave the most fascinating lectures on math and science to people waiting for the bus. He wouldn't speak with women, but he would lecture in their presence. My children and I would watch for him then start our time on "his" corner just so we could hear to what he had to say.

    Rumor had it that James was once a professor, that he once had a home in our (LA) area, and that he had taken a pioneer brother in to live with him and....the brother was never seen at the Kingdom Hall again!

    Sadly, I think the LAPD caught up with him and, tiring of his outbursts (he occasionally went ballistic in the neighborhood liquor store), relocated him without his consent.

    "If you want to do the algebra you got to know the signs!" (James the Bum)


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