A staggering 4,282 people are currently experiencing homelessness in the San Gabriel Valley. This enormous figure has service providers like Union Station struggling to find both short- and long-term solutions for unhoused people in the area.
Union Station offers a broad array of services to those experiencing homelessness in the region, from basic medical care to temporary housing:
“It’s about taking one individual at a time, building a relationship with them and helping them move from the streets into their own apartment,” says Shawn Morrissey, associate director of Union Station.
But there’s a limit to what Union Station can accomplish without access to more supportive housing. “We need our community to acknowledge that this is a crisis,” says Keith Hendirksen, a program manager at Union Station.
Hendriksen sees the housing crisis as an empathy crisis—a failure of others to imagine what life would be like without a home.
Take the basics: Unhoused people are deprived of bathrooms and showers. Their access to food and water storage is severely limited, and it can be impossible to find a comfortable place to sleep.
“There needs to be more understanding and more compassion,” says Hendrikson. “We need to all come on board to end this.”
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