As Board-and-Care Homes Disappear in L.A. County, Already Vulnerable Residents Could Become Homeless

Louie Villalva has been a resident of the Blake Home in Sylmar for more than eight years. Funding problems could cause the board-and-care home to close. He is shown in an undated photo.(Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Louie Villalva has been a resident of the Blake Home in Sylmar for more than eight years. Funding problems could cause the board-and-care home to close. He is shown in an undated photo.(Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

The news came in September: Long Beach Residential, a 49-bed home for adults who are mentally ill, was being sold. The residents of the converted apartment building, some of whom had lived there for decades, would have 60 days to move.

It’s a scenario that is becoming increasingly common across California, brought on by a combination of an inadequate state funding system and California’s red hot real estate market.

The problem is particularly acute in Los Angeles County, where board-and-care homes are disappearing even as hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to house homeless people. An April survey estimated that 39 such facilities had closed in the previous three years — eliminating 949 beds out of an estimated 6,100.

The board-and-care crisis is “what keeps me awake at night,” said Jonathan Sherin, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. “We haven’t paid attention to it for years. We’ve lost thousands of units.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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