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Metro outreach team takes the early shift in Los Angeles, helping the homeless

Demetric Woodard, a case manager with PATH’s early morning Metro outreach team, approaches Cedrick Cosey and Marlow Johnson outside the 7th St./Metro Center station in Los Angeles where people gathered to sleep before the gates open at 4 a.m. The team works to house Metro’s homeless population. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

They begin their shift at 3 a.m. when LA Metro subway stations are closed. At the locked gates a four-person team from the statewide non-profit People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) finds unhoused people waiting to get into the 7th St/Metro Center station in downtown Los Angeles where they find temporary shelter. The PATH’s Metro outreach team, which has a contract through Metro, breaks the ice by offering them drinks and clean socks.

Their goal is to find those who are ready to take PATH’s help.

When the gates to the Metro station open at 4 a.m., the unhoused and the PATH team enter. Some PATH workers ride the trains, and each encounter with a homeless person is documented, names and phone numbers collected.

Before sunrise the team huddles to decide the best option for each person who is ready to leave the Metro station. The PATH workers make phone calls to find interim housing and shelter beds, and they even contact their families when possible.

By Sarah Reingewirtz | | Southern California News Group

PUBLISHED: June 28, 2024 at 7:20 a.m. | UPDATED: June 28, 2024 at 7:24 a.m.


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