For the president of the Los Angeles City Council, Herb Wesson, the fight to end homelessness is more than a policy. Is personal

Herb Wesson, the former president of the California Assembly and president of the Los Angeles Council, has released a video in which he is seen traveling through the slums of Los Angeles with a single objective: Find your son.

For Wesson, one of the most powerful politicians in that great city, right now there is a priority: find Doug, 50, who lives among tents, bad smells and worse companies in the Skid Row neighborhood.

The veteran politician carries a picture of Doug in his hand, which he shows every so often when he meets someone who could meet him.

In a county where almost 60,000 people live homeless, Wesson knows that finding your child is not an easy task. But the video of his wandering through these streets is part of his campaign for the vacant position on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, whose vote will take place next March.

During the 90 seconds of the video, the voice of Herb Wesson's wife explains how the politician seeks to meet his eldest son, drug addict, but also shows him attached to the most needy people, able to understand his problems and of representing them in the Second District of Los Angeles.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, Doug's problems began when he was just over 20 years old, after being diagnosed with bipolarity and going through an intractable depression.

It was then that the young man, as his own father points out, began to “self-medicate” and left home for long periods.

That is why Wesson knows what it is to appear on these streets marked by crime and helplessness. "At first I was afraid," he admits to the report of the Angelino newspaper. But I do not have anymore".

"It is difficult to describe, but there is a community and they take care of each other," the 68-year-old politician abounds.

For decades, Wesson only told his son's problems to a small group of friends and family.

"I wanted to act as if it hadn't happened, as if he didn't exist," he admits. But as the homeless crisis in Los Angeles has worsened, he spent much more time talking to those who had lost their loved ones on the streets.

“You listen to their stories and want to share with them, you want to relate,” he says. But you can't do it if you're keeping a secret. ”

A few years ago, Doug's medical treatment and family support finally started working. "I was doing well," he recalls. He had a small apartment with a roommate. I had a girlfriend. We had weddings, family events, a birthday party for my wife. I thought this was all, that I had overcome the problem. ”

Then, after almost two years of tranquility, Doug relapsed and disappeared again in the streets.

"We didn't see him again in seven weeks," laments the father. “When this happens to the family, you go through a roller coaster of emotions,” he admits.

"When you are raising a child, nobody thinks it will end in Skid Row."

However, the images with which Wesson is campaigning as a politician and loving father also reveal the failure of his administration as president of the Council and the urgent need for a solution to the crisis generated by the lack of housing in the city.

"Whose responsibility is it to ensure that people like Doug are safe, protected and receive the help they need while fighting their demons?" The journalist asks.

"I think we all have to take responsibility," he says. I will climb the highest mountain and assume my share of responsibility. ”

On the campaign video, the candidate insists that "the more people know what it really is [the life of the homeless], the more they will commit to really solve it."

Wesson is clear that, given a family problem like yours, the family should not be isolated. Since addiction is a continuous disease, something you have to deal with every day, shame makes healing difficult.

We must also be ready when an addict decides to accept help. Therefore, it is necessary to create more addiction or mental health treatment programs.

He also knows that if the president of the City Council cannot find help for his son, even with all the resources at his disposal, a common person will find it much more difficult.

Finally, he believes that experts should be on the streets, not in study centers or government buildings, since people must be heard on the ground.

“We needed to do something radical,” says Wesson about the video recorded on Skid Row. I wanted to customize the problem, so that people knew what it is like. ”

After the recording and the reunion with his father, Doug disappeared again.

"We were trying to take him to rehab, but he disappeared for several weeks," he laments.

In the end they saw each other again the weekend before Thanksgiving.

"He was here on Saturday and disappeared on Sunday," he says. But I will find it again. ”


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