‘Doing a Good Thing’
Joel Delarosa, 26, and Miranda Frett, 24, heard about the LA County Public Defender Homeless Mobile free clinic and took the bus there from their live-in treatment program in South LA. Earlier that recent day, they started the process to have their records, if any, expunged.
“My record is holding me back,” said Joel, who seeks to become a truck driver. “This is going to help my future because it’s going to higher my chances of getting a job. This Help Squad is doing a good thing right here.”
Clients met LA County CEO Sachi Hamai, who conducted a site visit, and some sat down with Public Defender Ricardo García and Chief Deputy Jenny Brown, who helped fill out their expungement forms. Head Deputy Justine Esack, who oversees the Homeless Unit, assisted clients with Deputy Public Defender Loni Trang and secretary Melina Salazar.
On this day, two Public Defender Homeless Unit vans were parked in front of Project 180 on South Broadway. Partnering with the Public Defender and other County departments, Project 180 is the sole treatment provider for the Los Angeles County Co-Occurring Disorders Court. Designed for defendants with significant behavioral health needs, this diversion program provides intensive supervision and treatment.
Miranda, who is originally from Boston, has two young children currently being cared for by her mother. Once she is out of the treatment program, she also plans to seek employment.
“That’s really a blessing they do this,” Miranda said. “That’s not an everyday thing. There’s a lot of people homeless out here because of their felonies. It’s hard to live in today’s world.”