LA patient dumping settlement misses Skid Row

Associated Press brings to light questions regarding April’s $1.6 million patient dumping settlement.  Union Rescue Mission and other shelters affected by the surprise patient drop-offs were awarded a small portion of the settlement, while the bulk share went to an organization unrelated to the case.


LOS ANGELES — The city attorney stood on the roof of a homeless shelter high above the human misery of Skid Row in April and announced a $1.6 million settlement from a hospital accused of dumping about 150 mentally ill patients on the streets.

Rocky Delgadillo trumpeted the penalty, castigated those who took advantage of society’s most vulnerable and praised the Union Rescue Mission‘s chief executive as an inspiration for the investigation that led to the settlement.

What seemed like a big payday for the shelter and other nonprofits that have fought homelessness, mental illness and drug abuse on Skid Row for years, however, turned out to be no such bonanza. Instead, the lion’s share went to an organization in Pasadena — a suburb a dozen miles away — to provide grief counseling to school children.

Three months later, the shelters say they can’t figure out why Delgadillo, who finished his term of office last month and is considering a run for state attorney general, let $900,000 go outside the community they serve.

The Mission and three other Skid Row providers received $50,000 apiece, and another group got $100,000. Another $400,000 in fines went to the city and county.

Along with a handful of other shelters, the Union Rescue Mission was essential to discovering the practice of dumping patients — some still in hospital gowns — on Skid Row.

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