HomeUS News updateCalifornia city bans people from living in tents amid homeless crisis

California city bans people from living in tents amid homeless crisis

Nearby, Walter Lindsay clears debris from his stop under a busy freeway overpass. He moved to Culver City from Downtown Los Angeles two weeks ago and said he preferred the area’s “relaxed” atmosphere to Skid Row’s “depressing” views.

Now he lives behind a makeshift wall of plastic tarps and cardboard boxes near Bradley’s encampment. The two have taken to cleaning the sidewalks daily to allow foot traffic and to prevent police from complaining about their belongings.

Like Bradley, Lindsay didn’t know about the new ordinance and doesn’t have a backup plan in case she is asked to relocate.

“I guess I have to groom them,” he said of his homeless neighbors.

“As long as the weather is fine, I would rather be outside than be locked inside a shelter,” he said. “It’s very disappointing.”

During Monday night’s city council meeting, officials said the ban would not go into effect until the city met key goals, including opening a designated camping site where residents can set up their tents and convert 73 hotel and motel units into permanent and motel units. interim accommodation.

Combined, the two programs will add nearly 100 beds for people without housing. According to the 2022 homeless count, there are approximately 350 people living on the streets of Culver City.

Brian “Bubba” Fish, who sits on the city’s homeless advisory committee, said, “Continuing to criminalize people for struggling to live in poverty has never gotten anyone out of poverty and never will.” “And yet, we walk the same path.”

There is no clear timeframe for when the housing units will be available, according to the city, and officials have not determined who will be tasked with cleaning up the camps and whether enforcement measures such as fines and arrests will be used if people Refuse to move.

“We are putting the cart before the horse,” said Freddy Pooja, a member of the Culver City Council who voted against the ordinance. “I’m not trying to be intentionally vague — I don’t know what the next steps are.”

In neighboring Los Angeles, Mayor Karen Bass has spent her first two months in office issuing emergency orders aimed at addressing the ongoing homelessness crisis.

Bass told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in December that his plan to immediately move homeless people into rooms “won’t address everyone, but it’s going to address a significant number.” He said people would not be forced to move, but sanitation workers would stand by to clean the areas after people leave.

Bass declared a state of emergency on homelessness on her first day as mayor and said she intended to move more than 17,000 homeless people into interim and permanent housing during her first year in office.

Since then, he has issued emergency directives to free up surplus and unused properties for housing, clear encampments under the city’s Inside SAFE program and pushed for a $50 million emergency fund that will pay for homeless initiatives. .

As of the 2022 homeless count, more than 69,000 people were homeless on any given night in Los Angeles County, a 4.1% increase from 2020. Parks and under freeway overpasses during the pandemic.

Bass’s emergency declarations appear to have caused a domino effect in neighboring cities such as Santa Monica and Culver City, which have begun issuing declarations of their own in recent weeks.

But the push to clean up the most obvious sign of homelessness hasn’t addressed what many experts say is the root cause of the crisis: a lack of affordable housing.

“Nobody should be under any illusions that there is going to be a sudden reduction in camps,” said John McCarey, CEO of The People Concern, a service provider. “It’s going to take a minute. It’s 50 years in the making.”



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