Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Top Stories

City Clinic Helps Homeless Work Out Fines

Homeless residents in Venice seek services in exchange for freeing of fines.

City Attorney Mike Feuer led a homeless clinic today at the Oakwood Recreation Center in Venice.  The event is the beginning of a new initiative by the city attorney’s office that aims to combat homelessness.

“At a time when Los Angeles is confronting an unprecedented homeless crisis, we have to be taking every innovative step we can to get homeless people a chance to get back on their feet,” says Feuer.

The program allows those with citations and fines a chance to waive their fees if they perform community service.  They are also encouraged to take advantage of a number of opportunities offered at the clinic.  This includes services from Veteran Affairs, the Department of Mental Health, and CalFresh a program that helps to put fresh food on the table.

“We offer an opportunity for those who are not aware that there is help and hope for the addiction and substance abuse disorders,” says Frank Diaz, of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.  Substance abuse problems afflict the homeless population, seeking treatment is one way that this program can be utilized in order to wave fines.

A common offense among those seeking aid from the program is jaywalking.  Although he felt that it was unfair to receive his ticket, James Williams says that, “I’m hoping to get that taken care of.  I don’t have no money.”  This initiative is a way to amend that.

Steve Houchin, a deputy city attorney, says that the city needs to buckle down on what has become a difficult puzzle.  “The homeless issue is very complex.  We know it’s growing… but the city is working on it.  This is an example of outside-the-box thinking.”

 John Thomas is seeking service, hoping that it can turn his life around.  “I hope I’m successful in getting my questions answered and getting this whole thing resolved… I hope this helps me accomplish my goal of getting in the mainstream.  Getting not just a job, a career.”

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.