For those of you who are wondering what our lawmakers are doing about homelessness, I was at the Capitol last Wednesday and this is what I learned:

1) We need to change the criteria for 5150 (involuntary removal), which will be an amendment to the Constitution. Adding medical criteria is complicated when it is assessed only after someone is already at the hospital.

2) We need somewhere for agitated/combative people to go. Available beds/nurses went from 14 to 16 in the Yuba-Sutter area recently. This is all the law allows our area.

3) We all need to be educated on how to perform “emotional triage,” CPR and emergency plans. The Red Cross has training for these, as do other organizations.

One more issue was circulating under the dome: transportation (we have county cars and Peer Mentors). Finally, we all need to be onboard. When enough people are trained, these necessary skills will become common knowledge. The lawmakers can’t do this until we are ready for these changes. They represent us.

Lesley Clarkson


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