Rina Palta

Correspondent, Investigations

Contact Rina Palta

Rina Palta is a correspondent on KPCC's investigative team.

Prior to that, Rina covered California's social safety net for the station, with a particular focuses on homelessness. She's also served as a news editor for the station and covered crime and public safety as a reporter, looking at the systems designed to help people who fall into poverty, social welfare, public mental health systems, or criminal justice system — and help many get back on their feet.

Rina came to L.A. from the Bay Area, where she launched the Informant, a digital collaboration between NPR and KALW. Her reporting there focused on California's prison, jails, and law enforcement agencies, and the effect of crime and the criminal justice system on communities.

Palta is a graduate of Haverford College and UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. In her spare time, she's a world-class eater and aspiring surfer.

Stories by Rina Palta

How the homeless count is going high-tech

This week, Southern California counties will canvas their communities to take an annual count of the region's homeless population. Some are using thermal imaging and more detailed questionnaires to better count and understand who's living on the streets.

California's poorest may finally be feeling rising economy

Numbers indicate California's poorest are finally benefitting from a rising economy, but local food banks and other social services say they're as busy as ever.

Why some LA shelter beds are empty, despite the rains

Operators of winter shelters say numbers are down this year, and they think location might be the problem. They say NIMBY-ism has kept them from renting space in centralized parts of LA County.

Broke: Why more California families are becoming homeless

Interest in solving homelessness has intensified over the past year. But there’s a side to the crisis that hasn’t garnered as much attention — entire families are slipping into homelessness. There are more than 16,000 homeless families in Los Angeles County alone. Here’s why that’s happening.

Will LA County voters raise taxes to help the homeless?

County supervisors voted to put a 1/4 cent sales tax hike on the March ballot. It would generate more than $300 million. But will voters give it the green light?

LA voters may be asked to help the homeless — by raising taxes

L.A. County, looking for millions of dollars to fund its plan to eradicate homelessness, will likely turn to voters for a way to raise the cash.

LA voted to fund housing for homeless. Now what?

Voters in the city of L.A. approved a bond measure that will invest $1.2 billion to build new housing for the city's homeless. That's a first step, officials say.

Homeless funding may ride on who wins LA County supervisors race

Whoever wins the two seats on the power LA County Board of Supervisors could provide critical vote on funding a homelessness fix.

LA sees increase in people not competent to stand trial

The number of defendants declared "incompetent to stand trial" due to mental illness on pace to hit 4500 this year. That's up from about 3500 last year.

LA wants a new unit in the jails to root out extremism

L.A. County is looking to beef up its apparatus for countering violent extremism by creating a unit to identify radicals behind bars.

LA County Fire sees massive bump in calls for medical care

L.A. County Fire Department paramedics are exhausted after seeing a 32 percent increase in calls for emergency medical care over the past three years.

LA sheriff: Don't arrest homeless, get them into services

Under a new county policy, homeless people who commit low-level crimes will be directed to shelters and mental health services. Arrests will be a last resort.

Social workers investigated family of dead Echo Park boy 6 times

An 11-year-old boy found dead in his mother's closet last week had been the subject of multiple reports to child welfare authorities.

Psychotropic drugs for foster kids need oversight, report says

The state's auditor has found some foster kids in California are receiving high doses of psychotropic medications, without court approval.

LA's Skid Row shelters overwhelmed with women and families

More women and families are showing up on their doorsteps of homeless shelters on Skid Row. Advocates say many are fleeing domestic violence.