California Struggles with Homelessness

A look at the situation in Los Angeles, from the California Globe, which is similar to that of Sacramento.

In our area, a strategy helping the homeless (and local residents and business who suffer the impacts) needs to be developed that is capable of safely sheltering up to 3 to 4 thousand homeless folks a night safely distant from residential neighborhoods and business—with available transformational services—and San Antonio’s Haven for Hope program, especially the courtyard strategy they use for safe rapid shelter for large numbers, seems to offer an answer; which you can read about from their brochure at http://www.havenforhope.org/downloads/docs/H4H%20Brochure%2010-31-2016.pdf   and you can read more about Haven for Hope applicability in our area from our news release of October 26, 2018 on our News Pageat http://arpps.org/news.html

An excerpt from the California Globe article.

“On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council delayed a vote on a change to the city code allowing for the removal of homeless camps in the city if shelter had been offered first.

“Los Angeles has seen an explosion in homeless growth ever since the Great Recession in the late 2000’s due to a combination of many factors, including, most prominently, rising housing costs and the lack of affordable housing in the city. While Los Angeles has had laws regulating sleeping on sidewalks since 1968, the problem has led to an all-time high of homeless sleeping on sidewalks in the city since a 2018 Appeals Court ruling that barred cities from citing people that did so.

“However, with a recent ruling by a district court charging Los Angeles with failing to address the homeless crisis and needing to find shelter for homeless living near freeways, the city has found itself with more options, including the removal of homeless camps and tents within the city.

“The anti-camping ordinance proposal, written by City Attorney Mike Feuer, is based both on the need and now legal obligation to house more homeless who live under or near freeways, as well as to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in allowing  those with disabilities or in wheelchairs enough room to navigate a sidewalk.

“The proposal would also stop the homeless from resting long-term near schools, day care centers, parks, and other places where children may be. Tents are also barred near homeless shelters themselves.

“The most controversial amendment of the ordinance would allow law enforcement to remove any homeless camp as long as shelter was offered first.

“Pressure from the public both for and against the ordinance came to a head during the City Council meeting on Wednesday. Many who favored wanting the homeless off the streets pointed out that there is not currently enough shelter space in the city to make the ordinance feasible.

“I fundamentally believe, as I’ve stated before, in a right to housing,” explained Mayor Eric Garcetti before the City Council meeting. “I’m optimistic that we could see a huge expansion of our housing programs and that, more than anything else really are the solution. Otherwise, you’re trying to clean up a mess that continues to get worse and worse.

“I do believe that not all public space can just be a place where all people can camp but it’s inhumane to move people along without having shelter available for them.”

“Other Council Members echoed his concerns.”

Retrieved October 30, 2020 from https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/los-angeles-city-council-delays-homeless-camp-removal-ordinance-vote/

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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