Yes officer, we are homeless

Keith Garces, his wife and two young sons found themselves homeless for a year. Keith’s wife suffered from mental health issues, exacerbated by post-partum depression, and his role as caregiver eventually led to their homelessness. They stayed in familiar areas in Montebello and Monterey Park, and at night, parked their car near the church Keith attended in his youth.

One night Monterey Park Police Officer Gary Sims flashed his light in Keith’s car and saw the Garces family sleeping in their car. The officer asked Keith, “You have kids in there?” When they replied, “Yes officer, we are homeless, ” Officer Sims became an instrumental link in helping the Garces family obtain housing.

Despite receiving a Housing Choice Voucher in September 2018, the family had difficulty locating housing due to Keith’s time-intensive caregiver role and lack of money to buy gas for the housing search. The Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles’ Homeless Incentive Program advocated on the family’s behalf and helped them lease a two-bedroom apartment in November 2018 and get move-in assistance. Keith is looking forward to using their new housing as a foundation to begin rebuilding their family, their health and their lives.