The Healthcare Standard

California health insurance must also include housing, counseling

Life packed a lot of hardship into Ma’Lissa Simon’s 24 years. Bullied by schoolmates and siblings about her weight, anger drove her into gangs, drugs and even prostitution before the age of 18. She spent some time in prison. Once she got out, transitional programs did not work and she ended up on the streets. It was not until she was six months pregnant with twins, in the hospital for gestational diabetes and kidney problems, that things started to change.

She learned about Housing for Health, an L.A. County program designed to improve health outcomes by helping individuals experiencing homelessness to move into permanent housing.

In 2017, L.A. Care Health Plan committed $20 million over five years to Brilliant Corners, the agency that finds locations for the Housing for Health program.

The goal was to house 300 individuals experiencing homelessness – 291 individuals have been placed in housing so far. Ma’Lissa was the first.

 

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