L.A.’s chronic challenge: What to do with the mentally ill homeless who refuse help?

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Down on skid row, the doctor was talking to the social worker about the people they’ve lost, and about who was next in line for a free ride to the graveyard.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said the doctor, who has spent years bringing street medicine to Santa Monica, Hollywood and skid row. “When Barbara died, I said, ‘Julianne’s going to be next.’”

The doctor was right about that.

“Your girl Gloria’s going to be next,” said the social worker.

Get more of Steve Lopez’s work and follow him on Twitter @LATstevelopez


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