The Malibu City Council received a presentation during the City Council meeting on Monday, November 13, 2017 on the City’s efforts to address homelessness, including the efforts of the Malibu Task Force on Homelessness and The People’s Concern outreach workers, public safety and law enforcement issues surrounding homelessness, and the development of a Homelessness Strategic Plan. The meeting was scheduled more than one month earlier as part of the City’s efforts to effectively address homelessness in the community.
The video of the entire Council meeting can be viewed at https://www.malibucity.org/vid
The meeting, which was attended by more than 150 community members, members and supporters of churches in Malibu, supporters of homeless services, and representatives from non-profit organizations who are passionate about helping the homeless in Malibu, also included a long, open, and constructive dialogue about the question of the Malibu United Methodist Church’s free weekly meal program.
No decisions or votes were made on the issue, and the City intends to continue to meet regularly with Malibu United Methodist Church as well SOS (Standing on Stone), Community Action Resource Team, Malibu Presbyterian Church, the Malibu Task Force on Homelessness, The People Concern and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to discuss issues surrounding homelessness. The goal is to coordinate efforts, share information and develop an approach to homelessness that ensures compassion, services and safety for the entire community.
After the presentation in the November 13 Council meeting and before public comment, Mayor Skylar Peak apologized to Malibu United Methodist Church for any miscommunication or misunderstanding that occurred during the November 8, 2017 meeting of stakeholders on homelessness. That meeting included representatives from SOS (Standing on Stone), Community Action Resource Team, Malibu United Methodist Church, Malibu Presbyterian Church, the Malibu Task Force on Homelessness, The People Concern and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
The Mayor and other City officials in the November 8 meeting did not order the Church to stop their meal program. The City does not have the authority to order the Church to stop their activity. The City has received numerous serious complaints about public safety and neighborhood disturbances related to the meal program. In exploring possible solutions, a temporary suspension of the meal program was one suggestion. Others included finding alternate locations for the meal service or preparing box meals that The People Concern’s outreach workers could use in their outreach efforts with the homeless population. No decisions were made, and everyone agreed to continue the discussion after the Thanksgiving holiday.
The people of Malibu rightly recognize homelessness as a humanitarian crisis and the City has made it a priority issue. The City remains committed to meeting and collaborating with the community stakeholders on homelessness to develop an approach that ensures compassion, services and safety for the entire community. The City is moving forward with the development of a citywide Homelessness Strategic Plan with grant funding from Los Angeles County, and will regularly communicate with the public about issues surrounding homelessness in the community.