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Claudia Boyd-Barrett's Blog

California spends an estimated $4 to $5 billion a year on mental health services for children and... more »
posted 10/23/17
Beaches, sunshine, natural beauty, high-priced homes. In so many ways, Ventura County embodies... more »
posted 02/22/15

Claudia Boyd-Barrett's Work

As a journalist, both homelessness and mental illness are uniquely challenging topics to report on. When combined, the reporting challenges double, but so do the potential insights. Claudia Boyd-Barrett shares lessons from her experience reporting on the issue in California's Ventura County.

Older approaches to homelessness required people to achieve sobriety or enter treatment before being moved into permanent housing. Under Housing First, people receive support to stay in their homes and are later paired with services such as health care, substance abuse treatment, and job counseling.

Many homeless people have severe mental disorders yet remain on the streets for months or even years. The challenge for social service providers and authorities is that these vulnerable and sometimes volatile people often refuse help.