DATA AND INFOGRAPHICS

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A few years ago, Jason and his wife, Monica, packed everything into their car and drove to Los Angeles, excited to kickstart his music career. With Monica as his manager, the two did everything together from recording new songs to booking concerts. This is their passion. Together they are optimistic and hopeful that good things are coming their way.

While they may not have a lot, Monica and Jason understand that the hustle can’t stop. Monica recently got a new job while Jason is currently getting his business degree. Little by little, they are determined to make their dreams into a reality.
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Giving up isn't an option for Victoria. As a 5-time cancer survivor, Victoria exemplifies resilience and strength. On top of her cancer, she managed to raise four boys as a single mother. Currently, she has spent 4 years without a stable home, but with patience, she hopes to soon get off the waiting list for a nearby shelter.

As a homeless person, she receives a lot of negativity and hatred from others, calling her names and referring her as "trash." But Victoria is the opposite. She has goals and dreams and much like her attitude towards every adversity she has faced, she is determined to make her dreams come true.

Smiling, Victoria offers some wise words: “Be patient. Think of others. Look before you leap."
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Eddie moved to Los Angeles and big new city… However, moving to a new city often comes with many obstacles. One being loneliness. Finding some solidarity in the teachings of Buddhism, Edward immersed himself in finding his religious identity… Although he has been practicing meditation for some time now, he claims how hard to is to be at peace with his thoughts when enduring many obstacles and factors that are associated with homelessness. Sleeping an average of four hours over a span of two nights, Edward experiences physical and mental exhaustion that sometimes makes him feel regressed. Trying to seek help, he expresses the difficulties in attaining an appointment and general knowledge about mental health services. 

Stories like Edward are a reminder that although one can find joy in certain aspects, the whole soul must be nourished. As important as housing is, it cannot solve all the problems. Mental health services are crucial in order for an individual to gain the strength and courage to face a new transition of life, not just their current state… There is a need to  confront a “poorly coordinated system in which mental health, general health, housing, alcohol treatment, drug treatment, and legal services are all provided by separate agencies with unclear responsibilities, high staff turnover, poor communication, and complex and sometimes mutually contradictory rules” (Harvard Health).

Shirley and TJ met over ten years ago while Shirley was working for the city in downtown LA. One of TJ's friend told him that he had to meet Shirley because he'd love her, so TJ came down to the office one day to chat her up. They hit it off immediately and have been inseparable ever since! And upon meeting them, it's easy to see why. Together, they radiate warmth and positivity from a mile away. And their positive outlook is even more admirable considering everything they have been through together. As Shirley put it, "I'd be a wreck without him." They supported each other through Shirley's mother developing Alzheimer's. In the process of taking care of her, Shirley and TJ were no longer able to afford living in LA, so they scraped together enough to put her in a nursing home and moved to Idaho. They were eventually able to find a place they could stay in exchange for working on the home they would be staying in. Unfortunately, after a few months, the landlord asked them to leave. In an effort to escape the cold of winter in Idaho, they came back to LA in search of a new start. In the face of all these hardships, Shirley and TJ still maintain an inspiring outlook, saying, "I just never want to have a hard heart" and "It doesn't matter what happens, as long as we carry ourselves with dignity and respect everyone around us"

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