Los Angeles County Homeless Child Study

The Los Angeles County Homeless Child Study, conducted by Dr. Bonnie Zima, in 1990-91, interviewed 169 children ages 6-12 living in 18 homeless family shelters in the County and their parents.  Dr. Zima identified high unmet needs for mental health care among the children, 78% of whom suffered from depression, a behavioral or learning problem, and among their mothers, 72% of whom reported some level of psychological distress or substance abuse.  Few of these mothers at the time were receiving services, a situation which has improved somewhat in the intervening 20 years, as a result of current outreach programs.