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70 Million: Where Housing, Not Jails, Is the Answer to Homelessness

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The national homelessness crisis has reached unprecedented levels and local jails play a direct role in the problem. 15% of all people detained or incarcerated report having been homeless. And roughly 48,000 people enter shelters every year nearly directly from prisons or jails. In California, so-called “quality of life” laws target panhandling, living in cars or blocking sidewalks essentially making homelessness a crime. Reporter Sarah McClure chronicles the impact on men and women caught up in this system, and two ambitious programs trying to change these practices.

Image Credit & Caption: Karen Downard of West Angeles Community Development Corporation. Los Angeles, California. Photo By: Courtney Coles.

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  • Jose “JR” Rodriguez: Resident of an encampment
  • Damon Davis: Case Manager with Project 180
  • Suzy Urbina: Case Manager with Project 180
  • Jamie Larson: Prosecutor in the LA City Attorney’s Office and spearheaded LA DOOR
  • Andrea Smith: Client of LA DOOR
  • Aaron Jansen: Deputy Public Defender of Los Angeles County
  • Sara Rankin: Professor at Seattle University’s School of Law
  • Mark Ridley-Thomas: Los Angeles Board of Supervisor, authored and supported the Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR)
  • Dr. Kristen Ochoa: Medical Director at ODR
  • Stephen Baker: Client of ODR
  • Heidi Marston: Executive Director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority


70 Million Team:

  • Editors: Phyllis Fletcher, Laura Flynn
  • Episode Reporter: Sarah McClure
  • Sound Designer: Cedric Wilson
  • Managing Producer: Virginia Lora
  • Photo Editor: Michelle Baker
  • Staff Writer: Laura Tillman
  • Design Director: Kenia D. Serrette
  • Fact Checkers: Ryan Katz
  • Producer: Emma Forbes
  • Creator/Executive Producer: Juleyka Lantigua-Williams

Making Contact Staff:

  • Executive Director: Sonya Green
  • Staff Producers: Monica Lopez, Anita Johnson, Salima Hamirani

Music Credit:

  • Like The Others: N/A (ALIBI Music Library)
  • Cosmic Spheres: N/A (ALIBI Music Library)
  • Jupiter Is Rising: Derek Whitacre (BMI)
  • Soul Soldier: N/A (ALIBI Music Library)
  • Undiscovered Secrets: Derek Whitacre (BMI)
  • Mirror City: Derek Whitacre (BMI)
  • Moonbathing: Gregory Reeves (BMI)
  • Until The Next Time: Derek Whitacre (BMI)

Author: Radio Project

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