‘CARE Court’ would let judges order unhoused people into mental health programs


An unhoused person sleeps on a bench in Tongva Park, Santa Monica, CA, February 25, 2022. Photo by Amy Ta.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s new proposal is meant to alleviate the overlapping mental health and homelessness crises in cities like LA. He wants to create a system that could place some people with severe mental illness or substance use disorders under court-ordered care, calling it Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court. 

“There's no compassion stepping over people in the streets and sidewalks, no compassion in reading about someone losing their life under 280 in an encampment. There's no compassion in that,” Newsom said during a press conference last week announcing the proposal.

So far, however, the effort is short on details.