As climate change increases the intensity of wildfires in California, more people are losing their homes and facing long-term displacement and instability.
Researchers and those who work with disaster victims said there is insufficient government assistance to help the most vulnerable wildfire survivors find housing. There also isn’t enough housing to accommodate California’s swelling population of wildfire refugees.
Columbia Journalism Investigations in partnership with the Center for Public Integrity and Type Investigations spent a year digging into the growing need for climate relocation across the United States.
Little organized government assistance exists for preventing the loss of homes and lives before a disaster, the investigation revealed — and there is no comprehensive focus on helping people escape untenable situations.
In 2013, my son Ram spontaneously developed a condition called selective mutism, a childhood anxiety disorder. After three months of searching, I finally found a therapist familiar with the condition. My husband and I felt so relieved — until we found out she doesn’t take insurance.
It turns out, this scenario is common. Health insurance — whether private or through California’s Medi-Cal program — doesn’t pay what many psychologists request for their services.
One in 4 women will experience domestic violence at the hands of a romantic or sexual partner, according to the CDC. Similarly, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. lives with a disability.
Between these two statistics is an overlap so large it demands attention. Yet, there is little discussion or awareness that domestic violence and disability often intersect.
I’m a pediatric intern at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a safety-net hospital in Los Angeles County. When I decided to go into pediatrics, I pictured helping children and their families with broken bones, asthma and ear infections, as well as some chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
I never imagined how often I would take care of children trying to heal from the physical and mental trauma of being shot.
California is often held up as a model for climate policy, environmental legislation, and pollution regulation, but those standards are rarely reflected in frontline communities.
Since 2000, more than 16 million pounds of toxic chemicals, primarily hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, have been spewed into Wilmington’s air from industrial sites in the city, according to the EPA. Community survey data shows dramatically higher rates of cancer, asthma and anxiety and depression in Wilmington, compared to national data.
COVID-19’s overall effects on unemployment has received a lot of attention. But there hasn’t been enough focus on the devastation of the health care workforce.
More than 3,600 frontline health care workers died in the United States due to COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic. Few new workers are available to fill those positions.
The state cut funding for social and recreational services for children with disabilities 13 years ago, which meant regional centers could no longer pay for summer camps, swimming lessons and other recreational programs for children with disabilities.
Now the centers have to figure out how to reinstate them, which has led to glitches for families trying to access these services.
Like thousands of other Californians, this was not due to any of her own missteps — it was an overreaction of the state as it tries to crack down on fraud.
The unintended consequence is that people like my mom are having to go without monthly checks that, in many cases, allow them to put food on their tables and a roof over their heads.
The unequal impacts of COVID-19 and the ongoing crisis of police violence in communities of color have exacerbated mistrust and disconnection between these communities and the health care system. This makes achieving patient-centered care a challenge.
Studies show that brief messages and two-way communication via text builds people’s trust and engagement in health care and educational settings.
Hospice care provides physical, mental and spiritual care and comfort for a person with a life expectancy of six months or less.
But fraudulent enrollment in hospice can be life-threatening. Because hospice is for people expected to die, beneficiaries lose access to curative treatment, including medicines, medical equipment and their regular doctors.