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He was homeless — but to get help, the rules said he had to prove it

He was homeless — but to get help, the rules said he had to prove it

After being discharged from detox, Rory Gallegos had nowhere to go. So he made the street his home.

A year later, he thought he had found a home when the Hillview Mental Health Center in Pacoima offered him an apartment with onsite mental health services.

But to qualify for a voucher to pay for the room, Gallegos first had to prove that he was chronically homeless. He couldn’t produce the necessary documents.

For another year, he languished in a bureaucratic holding pattern, living in a shelter to establish his homelessness, by definition, while Hillview kept his room on hold.

Gallegos was...

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