Last year, the City developed new HOPE Teams which will bring LAPD and homeless service providers together with the other City departments to help provide services to homeless people in our City, as well as clean-up unhealthy and dangerous encampments. This new approach creates dedicated teams that can develop relationships of trust with our homeless community, and they’re seeing incredible results. I worked to bring the City’s first HOPE Team to the Valley, and I continue to be impressed with their work. I recently received this note from LAPD Sergeant Padilla from the HOPE Team, that really demonstrates the impact of the work we’re doing:
I am writing this to express my sincere gratitude concerning Officer Harty's help in working with my son.
My husband and I live in Vermont. Our son Corey moved to LA approximately 7 years ago when he was 18 years old. He quickly became lost in a world of drugs eventually leading to heroin addiction, homelessness and the life that comes with it. While we have offered residential treatment to him over the years, he has not been able to stay sober and has always returned to living on the streets. We have been out to LA numerous times looking for him but to no avail.
On December 27th, he was picked up by Officer Harty for vagrancy and his name was run through the system. He had warrants and was taken to Van Nuys and subsequently Twin Towers and then Wayside SuperMax. Officer Harty spoke to Corey and told him that he would contact us. Which he did. He made sure we understood the process and said he would keep in touch with us and help any way he could. He gave me his direct cell phone number.
When I spoke to Corey he was amazed that an Officer followed through and did what he said he would do. Officer Hardy made himself available, even answering his phone when he was not working and was with his family. I was able to tell him our plans to fly out again and be in court in Burbank on Jan 3rd and then bring Corey directly to residential treatment. He kept me informed of Corey’s charges and what was happening on the legal end. He again offered his help. He asked that I contact him again and let him know how things were going with Corey which I did today.
Corey detoxed physically (mostly) while in prison and was accepting of treatment. He has now been in rehab for a week. We are hoping for a long stay as they have a 4 part step-down program. Of course insurance will determine much. Officer Harty asked today that I let him know if Corey was about to be homeless again due to treatment ending and said he would help to find him a place to stay if that should occur.
So, this is my long winded way of saying thank you. He made an impact on my son and on us. He is the first person in 7 years to ever reach out to us and make contact. He made himself available even when he was not on the job and he offered to continue to help down the road if needed. He knew my sons name today without prompting-just based on my calling and his seeing my area code.
I don't imagine that he has an easy job-most likely a thankless one. So again, I want to say thank you-you have made a difference.
I really hope that Corey continues to get the help he deserves, and I will continue to fight to bring these types of services to our community, so we can help those in need, and keep our neighborhoods clean and safe.