Federal Education Programs Rely Heavily On Funding Backed By Census Data

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As elected officials and activists alike call for redirecting public funds away from law enforcement and towards unarmed, trained service providers, one model that shows significant promise is peer support for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

At peer-run centers – which are, at the moment, few and far between in L.A. – folks who live with mental illness can show up and find resources, a sympathetic ear, or just a quiet place to decompress. My colleague Robert Garrova visited one such facility, the county-operated Peer Resource Center near Wilshire Blvd. and Vermont Ave., and discovered a welcoming and safe space.

“You don’t have to have a diagnosis to come in, we don’t ask for insurance,” said Joey Arcangel, a program coordinator at a different center. Instead, visitors can talk

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