February 6, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

LA City Council Votes to Ban Homeless Encampment Within 500 Feet of Schools

Final vote expected next week

By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro

Los Angeles City Council this week took steps to ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools and day-care centers, among other locations. 

At a meeting Tuesday, Council voted 11-3 to expand the areas in which camping is prohibited  to include within 2 feet of any fire hydrant, within 5 feet of any operational entrance or exit and within 10 feet of a loading dock or driveway. The ordinance also allows the Council to include, by resolution, areas within 500 feet of a range of locations, including overpasses, underpasses, freeway ramps, tunnels, bridges, pedestrian bridges, subways, washes or spreading grounds, railroad tracks, schools, daycare facilities, parks and libraries, and any placed deemed to be a threat to public health or safety. 

In addition, Council can pass resolutions to prohibit sleeping within 1000 feet of any homeless shelter opened since 2018. 

A second and final vote will be required next week since there were three “no” votes: Mike Bonin, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Nithya Raman.

Martha Alvarez, the head of government relations for the Los Angeles Unified School District, told the council that the District had found 120 campuses with encampments nearby over the last year.

“These conditions are a public health hazard,” she said during the meeting. “They are unsafe and traumatic for students, families and staff as they enter school campuses.”

“Homelessness is getting worse – and the City Council is poised to vote on a new law that will move encampments from block to block, instead of housing the people living in them. I’m a NO vote on this law. We need to focus relentlessly on ending homelessness, not waste money on failed strategies that criminalize it,” Bonin said prior to the Council vote in a social media post. 

During the meeting, Bonin spoke and noted that Project Roomkey was coming to an end and that “thousands of people are at risk for being put back on the streets,” and that the city of Los Angeles is letting federal housing vouchers expire rather than distributing them to the people in need. Bonin stated that people are being evicted despite the eviction moratorium in Los Angeles and rents are being illegally raised which will result in more people being pushed out into the streets.” 

Councilmember Joe Buscaino–the author of the motion to expand the prohibited camping areas–said during the meeting he has been working to create more beds for homeless people.

“I’ve supported Bridge Home shelters. I’ve supported tiny homes, Project Roomkey, Project Homekey, permanent supportive housing,” Buscaino said. “But what I don’t support are drug dens near our schools, parks or anywhere children congregate.”

The meeting Tuesday was a fiery one with opponents of the expansion in the gallery forcing the City Council to shut down the session and wait until the room was cleared after Buscaino was shouted down by the crowd when he attempted to speak. 

After almost an hour, the City Council chambers were cleared and Buscaino and other city councilmembers returned to speak. 

PATH, People Assisting The Homeless, the operator of many homeless shelters in Los Angeles including A Bridge Home in Venice, is among those opposed to the expansion of 41.18. 

“Broadening the scope and scale of enforcement only wastes valuable time and resources that would be better spent on outreach and housing,” PATH said in a statement. “As participants in those more successful efforts, and as one of LA’s largest service providers for decades, we reiterate that people begin their journey out of homelessness only when we meet them with trauma-informed outreach and adequate housing and services. The safety and well-being of everyone, housed and unhoused, is of the utmost importance. We remind the Council that our unhoused neighbors are far more likely to be victims of violence than they are to be perpetrators. Enforcement of anti-camping ordinances, then, only displaces people and makes it harder for trained outreach staff to establish trust again.”

in News
Related Posts

Tishman Speyer Announces Basis Investment Group as Equity Partner for Santa Monica Collection

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

BIG’s $30 million commitment — 11 percent of total equity — to the 3.1-acre mixed-use development will help create 617...

Two Industry Titans Invest $30M in Lavish Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica Homes

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

David Bonderman and Christa Campbell recently acquired two lavish homes By Dolores Quintana Private equity tycoon David Bonderman and his...

Four-Year-Old Mountain Lion P-81 Found Dead on PCH

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

P-81 found on Pacific Coast Highway near Las Posas Road On Sunday, January 22, the California Department of Fish and...

Rep. Lieu Secures $2.5 Million for Local Projects in Santa Monica

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Funding will go towards Santa Monica Behavioral Health Center and Ready to Succeed Scholarship program  By Sam Catanzaro ​​Congressman Ted...

Steve Marcy, Beloved Lincoln Middle School Teacher and Scoutmaster, Passes Away at 77

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Longtime Lincoln math teacher passes away  ​​Steve Marcy, beloved Lincoln Middle School teacher and Scoutmaster of Santa Monica Boy Scout...

California Referendum Postpones Controversial Fast Recovery Act That Would Increase Hourly Wages for Fast-Food Workers to $22

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

AB 257 would create a board of 11 appointees to negotiate on behalf of fast food workers in California Last...

Highly-Anticipated Downtown Santa Monica Restaurant Close to Opening

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

Bar Monette close to opening at 109 Santa Monica Boulevard By Dolores Quintana Bar Monette is almost ready to open...

SMC Receives Grant to Expand Access to Critical Support Services for Foster Youth

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

New NextUp program will provide academic & comprehensive support, plus direct financial aid to foster youth enrolled at SMC Santa...

Find Inspiration in Moses Sparks’ Latest Collection of Tree Portraits in the Santa Monica Mountains

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

The exhibition and sale run from February 1st – 26th at the King Gillette Ranch Visitor Center  Internationally-acclaimed wildlife photographer,...

Pacific Park Joins The City Of Santa Monica To Recognize ‘Black History Month’ With Ferris Wheel Salute

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

Display of red, yellow and green colors, patterns and transitions beginning at sunset February 1 On Wednesday, February 1, the...

Girl Scout Cookie Season Returns to Los Angeles With New Cookie

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Cookie lovers throughout Greater Los Angeles can now support local Girl Scout entrepreneurs by ordering from the iconic lineup Girl...

Boris Allakhverdyan, Ben Hong and Talon Smith Unite in Santa Monica for Special Performance of Brahms’ Trio Op. 114

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Concert will take place on Sunday, February 5 The world-renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Principal Clarinet Boris Allakhverdyan and Associate Principal...

Metro’s Choice for Purple Line Muralist Sparks Veteran Concern

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Veterans concerned over disturbing painting by commissioned metro muralist at the purple line stop on the West L.A VA Soldiers...

Los Angeles Sees Increase in Kia and Hyundai Thefts Fueled by TikTok

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Social media platforms exacerbate vehicle thefts through security flaws Kia and Hyundai vehicles have become a major target for car...

Phil Brock Appointed to Serve on National League of Cities’ Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Brock will help shape NLC’s policy positions and advocate for America’s cities, towns and villages before Congress Santa Monica City...