This article first appeared in the 2017 edition of Hearing Voices. Displacing Boundaries of Race and Politics of Space in Los Angeles by Alisa Orduna, Dissertation Student in the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization.
As the Mayor’s Director of Homelessness Policy, our City’s homeless community of 28,000 residents is my primary constituent base. For far too long, L.A. has addressed homelessness and poverty through policies of containment- isolating persons with severe mental illness, substance use disorder, sexual minorities, and African Americans – in “designated” spaces of the City. Homelessness and poverty were also addressed through therapeutic models that focused on assimilating the individual into a biased model of a “productive citizen” of society.