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"Suffering in Silence." Operating a Los Angeles board and care home

Updated: Jul 23

This interview with an amazing couple – Rhoda and Gochin – who have operated a small family-style board and care home in the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles) for the last 22 years, will leave you feeling anxious at the end. And that is the objective: to stimulate not just a sense of urgency, but emergency, to protect precious beds that provide homes for people living with mental illness in our city, in the county, in the state of California.

The interview: Suffering Silence Operation a Board Care Home Today"

In this interview, we move past the sterile staff reports that document the steady loss of facilities and beds. These are important statistics (see below for links) but what often is lost is the human impact of this emergency. Through Rhoda and Gochin’s story, you will gain a glimpse into:

  • The people who are living in the home, entrusted to their care, who feel safe and secure. What happens to them if this facility closes?

  • The families of adult children with mental illness who worry about where their loved one will end up once they pass away and can no longer pay attention to the situation.

  • The owner/operators of these facilities, who too often work for free, dip into their personal finances to make ends meet, and as Gochin says, “suffer in silence.”

I am grateful to Rhoda and Gochin who were willing to trust me with this interview. I am also grateful to Barbara Wilson (interview guest in Season Two of this podcast) who is a tireless advocate for saving the board and care system and arranged for the meetings to prepare for this interview.

In this interview, I reference recent reports documenting the state of the board and care crisis:

County of Los Angeles, report issued June 5, 2023.

City of Los Angeles, report issued May 12, 2023.

I reference the petition sponsored by the Los Angeles Residential Care Association (LARCA). Please consider adding your name and sign up for more updates.

I’m also including a link to a recent blog I posted on this topic entitled: Can We Commit to a Net Zero Loss of Board and Care Beds?

Also, just this week, an excellent article appeared in the L.A. Times and references several board and care operators, including Rhoda.

Other articles from the Heart Forward archives:

Here's Why California Housing For Mentally Ill Adults Is Disappearing -

Mental Health 'Catastrophe': Few Options for Residents as Care Homes Close | KQED

Homes for people with severe mental illness are rapidly closing. Will help come fast enough? - Los Angeles Times (

SF rescues homes for elderly, homeless and mentally ill on the verge of closing (

Kerry Morrison, Founder

Heart Forward LA


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