Pushing Limits

Homelessness and Disability

Santa Rosa Council Woman Julie Combs

On April 5, 2018 a Federal judge in San Francisco heard arguments against evicting the 125+ people of a Sebastopol Road homeless camp in Santa Rosa. The camp residents asked the judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the eviction, claiming the County of Sonoma, whose land they reside upon, is violating their 4th, 8th & 14th amendment rights, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act.  At the time of this program, the judge’s final decision was unknown.

Attorneys for the residents found a high rate of disability within the camp and said that many camp residents were not being accommodated in local homeless shelters. This is an unusual way to think about homelessness.

To delve into this situation, we talk to Santa Rosa Council Woman Julie Combs.

Since she was first elected in 2012, Julie Combs has been part of our struggle for something better for poor and homeless people. Her work at the city council gives hope to the cynical that politicians can be true representatives of the people. She’s a trained mechanical engineer with experience as an Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator.

Kalia Mussetter, founder of Living Bridges

We also talk to Kalia Mussetter, a Mental Health Peer Advocate & System Navigator, and the founder of Living Bridges, a local non-profit consultancy that provides direct services to our chronically homeless neighbors. She also gives In-Service provider trainings in Trauma-Informed Care, as she puts it, “from the vulnerable side of the helping desk.”

Official statistics say that 64% of homeless people in Sonoma County live with one or more health conditions, and 41% meet the standard of a HUD disabling condition.  Our guests agree that, actually, a much higher percentage of homeless people are disabled.  Of the homeless people with a disability, 20% have physical limitations and almost 20% more suffer from PTSD.

Producer/Host:  Adrienne Lauby
Co-host: Sheela Gunn Cushman

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