The Southern Truth, By Gloria Zuurveen
When is enough is enough?
Black men lying and dying on the streets of Los Angeles must be stopped now.
Mr. Nathaniel Hicks is one of those Black men who has died on the mean streets of L.A. and the sad part of it all is that Mr. Hicks didn’t have to die on the streets when right in the back of him where he died was a vacant unused state unemployment office which has been that way for many years. It could have been used for resources, bed, bath and beyond and where family-reunification could have been done to help Black people like Mr. Hicks in the community.
It is there, on the sidewalk, in front of the old unemployment office, Mr. Hicks died inside of a tent.
The crisis is out of control and if the truth be told the story is too old.
Mr. Hicks, like so many other Black homeless men, did not have to suffer and die, especially when billions of dollars from all levels of government are running through bureaucrats’ hands.
No. Mr. Hicks didn’t have to die. But why? Why, when executives like the one appointed in March to LAHSA, the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority, as its head-honcho and CEO in charge, Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, is being paid, the Los Angeles Daily News reported, a whopping base salary of $430,000 with her contract being subject to review by LAHSA’s attorneys, according to staff reports, yet, Mr. Hicks has died lying on the streets while there are plenty of transitional and sober living providers with empty beds, clean sheets, a hot meal and some bread. The providers are waiting while the system, under Dr. Adam Kellum and other homeless leaders, continue to vacillate and hesitate to extend the much needed contracts and concessions to help those who are homeless advocates and professionals.
It is time to stop the meeting, greeting and eating in fancy office buildings when Black men like Mr. Hicks are dying and are they are sick.
They are sick of the red-tape and dying because they can’t wait for example like Mr. Hicks, the waiting was much too late.
Thank goes out to Officer Dixon, LAPD 77th Division, who is pictured in the photo with Mr. Hicks and he was featured in the previous PACE NEWS article, called on Monday to report the news about the death of Mr. Hicks and how he too was saddened because he had developed a relationship.
Officer Dixon reported that Mr. Hicks was found in his tent by one of the locals who often checked on Mr. Hicks but on Monday when he checked inside of Mr. Hicks tent he saw his body slumped over and found him dead.
This is a too often story and one that the community must dread and demand that no more Mr. Hicks because enough is enough and Black men, women and children must have houses, homes, and places to lay their heads.
Rest in peace Mr. Nathaniel Hicks.
You fought the good fight and now you are gone from the streets of Los Angeles where too many like you are calling home.
Maybe Dr. Adam Kellum will call a meeting to do more than listen like she promised during a recently held meeting at HOPICS (Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System). Hopefully she will bring forward solid solutions such as the ones Baile T. Walker, a homeless advocate, suggested in a letter to PACE NEWS.
She suggested that each church take up an action like issuance of bus tokens, showers, clothing, food, paperwork assistance, medical, dental or that each council districts should have a resource center that is open from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. with two shifts this could expedite the process of eliminating the problem and it would create a few jobs of local hires.
She said with 96 neighborhood councils, some with very active hands on homelessness liaisons that need to be communicated with as a whole to actually see what goes on in their respective districts and Service Planning Area (SPAs).
The other suggestion was that LAHSA should answer the phone call from the general public.
Other solution would entail helping local mom and pop and nonprofit service providers get qualified with financial, technical, and other vital resources available to help those who want to help solve the problem of homelessness in general and Black homelessness specifically.
This is a crisis and it is critical and it is time to stop all the shuckin’ and jivin’ because Black people who are dying from homelessness must come to an end.
Enough is enough!
The Southern Truth.