Los Angeles is the location of a number of homeless programs designed to assist unhoused vets in transitioning into suitable, safe housing. An example of these services is apartment units housing, providing living spaces for previously unhoused vets. In many ways, this particular center operates like any other apartment complex. With that said, a vet resident of the complex is able to answer a variety of other supportive services that include such things as mental health assistance, job and employment help, and other programming. The residential aspect of the center is overseen by a homeless housing property manager, a person who is in a role quite like any other rental property manager.
The tasks and responsibilities of a homeless housing property manager can prove to be significant. There are instances where something occurs in a center for unhoused vets that can prove highly challenging to a homeless housing property manager. A prime example is a major issue faced by the homeless veterans housing manager, the professional and center discussed a moment ago. A vet died alone in one of the apartment units, but his remains were not found for a couple of weeks.
What Is an Unattended Death?
Before diving deeper into how a homeless housing property manager can be called upon to address the aftermath of an unattended death, understanding what this type of situation involves is necessary. There is a considerable amount of confusion and misunderstanding when it comes to the subject of unattended deaths. With that duly noted, there are some key factors you need to bear in mind when it comes to understanding what is meant by an unattended death:
- The individual died alone and was not found for a period of time: This is the most fundamental element of an unattended death. When an individual dies alone, there is no one present to provide immediate medical assistance or to report the death to the authorities. If the individual is not found for a period of time, it can complicate the investigation because it may be more difficult to determine the cause of death.
- The cause of death is not immediately obvious or natural: When an individual dies, the cause of death is not always immediately apparent. This is especially true in cases of unattended deaths. Because there are no witnesses to the death, investigators must rely on forensic evidence to determine the cause of death. This can include toxicology reports, autopsy results, and other types of medical examinations.
- There are no witnesses to the death: As mentioned earlier, unattended deaths usually occur when an individual dies alone. This means that there are no witnesses to the death. Without witnesses, investigators must rely on other sources of information to piece together what happened.
- The deceased may have been in a state of decomposition: When an individual dies, the body begins to decompose. This can make it more difficult to determine the cause of death. The degree of decomposition can also serve as an indicator of how long the individual has been deceased, which can be important information for investigators.
- The death may have occurred in a secluded or private location, such as a home or hotel room: Unattended deaths often occur in private or secluded locations, such as a person’s home or a hotel room. This can make it more difficult for investigators to gather information about the death’s circumstances. In some cases, investigators may need to obtain a search warrant to gain access to the location where the death occurred.
Overview of Homelessness Among U.S. Vets
Before considering more closely the unattended death of the veteran in the transitional housing apartment, a review of some key facts regarding homelessness among vets is necessary. We obtained crucial information on unhoused veterans through an interview with a representative of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Approximately 11 percent of the adult homeless population are veterans. This means that out of the estimated 553,000 homeless people in the United States on any given night, about 50,000 are veterans who have served their country.
- Veterans are 50 percent more likely to become homeless compared to other Americans. This is due to a number of factors, including the high cost of housing, lack of access to affordable healthcare, and difficulties finding employment after leaving the military.
- Nearly 50,000 veterans are homeless on any given night in the United States. This is a staggering number, showing that more needs to be done to support those who have served our country.
- Veterans make up about 7 percent of the population but account for more than 11 percent of the homeless population. This disparity highlights the fact that veterans are at a much higher risk of becoming homeless than the general population.
- About 1.5 million veterans are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and subpar living conditions. This is a troubling statistic, as it shows that many veterans struggle to make ends meet and may not have the support they need to stay off the streets.
- The number of homeless veterans has declined by 5 percent since 2018, but the number of homeless female veterans has increased by 7 percent. While it is encouraging to see a decline in the overall number of homeless veterans, it is concerning that the number of homeless female veterans has gone up.
- Nearly half of all homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Many of these veterans may be dealing with the long-term effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other chemicals, as well as the psychological trauma of their experiences in combat.
- Homeless veterans are more likely to experience chronic homelessness than non-veterans. Chronic homelessness is defined as homelessness for a year or more or having experienced four or more episodes of homelessness in the past three years.
- Veterans with disabilities are more likely to become homeless than those without. This is due to a combination of factors, including difficulty finding employment and a lack of access to affordable healthcare.
- African American and Hispanic veterans are at a higher risk of becoming homeless. This is partly due to systemic racism and discrimination, which can make it more difficult for these veterans to find jobs, secure housing, and access healthcare.
- Many homeless veterans suffer from mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. These conditions can make it difficult for veterans to adjust to civilian life after leaving the military and can contribute to their risk of becoming homeless.
Homeless Housing Property Manager Addresses Aftermath of Unattended Death
A homeless housing property manager is obliged to address a variety of key matters when an unattended death of a tenant occurs. These include:
- Contact the authorities: The first step to be taken by the manager of an apartment complex for homeless veterans following an unattended death is to contact the authorities by calling 911 immediately to report the situation. It is important to maintain calm and provide as much information as possible to the dispatcher. It’s important that a property manager not disturb the scene or move anything until the authorities arrive.
- Secure the area: Once an apartment manager has reported the death to the authorities, a property manager needs to secure the area where the tenant died until the authorities arrive. This means that people need to be kept away from the area, including other tenants, staff, and contractors. By securing the area, a homeless property manager can help preserve the scene and any potential evidence.
- Notify the next of kin: If a property manager has the contact information for the tenant’s next of kin, notify them of the tenant’s death. This can be a difficult conversation, but it’s important that the family is informed as soon as possible. A property manager should also be prepared to provide them with any additional information regarding the death that you may have.
- Document the scene: While waiting for the authorities to arrive, it is important to document the scene as much as possible. This includes taking photos and/or videos of the scene as soon as possible, before the authorities move or remove anything. This documentation may be useful in case of a legal dispute.
- Contact the property owner: Inform the property owner of the tenant’s death and provide them with any necessary information or documentation. The owner may have specific procedures or requirements that they need you to follow. You should also be prepared to answer any questions that the owner may have regarding the situation.
- Contact the tenant’s employer or school: If the tenant had a job or attended school, it may be necessary to inform their employer or school of their death. This will help ensure that their obligations are taken care of and that any necessary arrangements can be made. A property manager should be prepared to provide any information that the employer or school may need.
- Notify other tenants: If appropriate, notify other tenants in the building or complex of the tenant’s death. Be sure to respect the privacy of the deceased and their family. This can help prevent rumors or speculation from spreading and may also help the community come together to support one another. Once more, a homeless housing property manager should be prepared to answer any questions that other tenants may have regarding the situation.
- Clean and disinfect the unit: After the authorities have cleared the scene, clean and disinfect the unit thoroughly to prevent spreading disease or infection. This is not only important for health reasons but also to ensure that the unit can be rented out again in the future. A homeless property manager definitely should be prepared to hire a professional cleaning service to perform this task, an enterprise like Eco Bear.
- Follow legal procedures: Depending on the jurisdiction, there may be legal procedures that you must follow when dealing with the aftermath of an unattended death. Consult with a lawyer or other legal professional to ensure that a property manager follows all necessary procedures. This will help protect both a property manager and the property owner from any legal issues that may arise.
Note: This list is not exhaustive and may vary depending on the location and circumstances of the death. It’s important to approach each situation with care and sensitivity and to seek professional advice if necessary. As an apartment manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to handle the situation as best as possible, while also protecting the safety and rights of all parties involved.
What a Homeless Housing Property Manager Must Not Do After a Tenant’s Unattended Death
Dealing with an unattended death of a tenant can be a very sensitive issue for property managers. In such situations, it is important for homeless housing property managers to handle the situation with caution and sensitivity while also following legal protocols and procedures. Here are some additional details on the seven things that a property manager must not do when a tenant dies an unattended death:
- Do not enter the residence without proper authorization or clearance from law enforcement. By doing so, the property manager may interfere with the investigation, which can also lead to legal consequences. The property manager must wait for authorization or clearance from law enforcement before entering the residence.
- Do not remove any personal property belonging to the deceased or any other tenants. This can lead to legal repercussions such as theft or violating privacy laws. The property manager should contact law enforcement or the appropriate authorities to take care of the personal property.
- Do not dispose of any personal property belonging to the deceased or any other tenants. Just like removing personal property, disposing of any property can also lead to legal repercussions. The property manager should wait for proper authorization to dispose the personal property of the deceased or any other tenants.
- Do not clean up the scene of the death without clearance from law enforcement. Cleaning up the scene of the death can interfere with the investigation and may even be considered a crime. The property manager must wait for the clearance from law enforcement before cleaning up the scene.
- Do not disclose any information about the death to unauthorized parties. This can lead to legal repercussions and may also be a violation of privacy laws. Property managers should only disclose information to authorized parties and entities.
- Do not rent or lease out the residence until the scene of the death has been properly cleaned and declared safe by law enforcement. Before renting or leasing out the residence, the property manager must ensure that the scene of the death has been properly cleaned and declared safe by law enforcement.
- Do not ignore legal responsibilities, such as properly securing the property and notifying the appropriate authorities. Property managers have legal responsibilities to ensure that the property is properly secured and that the appropriate authorities are notified. Ignoring these responsibilities can lead to legal repercussions and can also create an unsafe environment for tenants and other individuals.
In summary, when a tenant dies an unattended death, homeless housing property managers must be very cautious and handle the situation with sensitivity and care. By following the above guidelines, property managers can ensure that the situation is handled properly and with the necessary sensitivity.