News & Blogs L.A. vote makes it easier to break up homeless camps (1 Viewer)

Brother X

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The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider making it easier to break up homeless encampments, which have mushroomed across Southern California.

Two measures before the council would reduce to 24 hours from 72 hours the warning time homeless people are given before authorities seize their belongings from public sidewalks and parks. Bulky items including couches, tables and larger tents -- anything that won't fit in the city's 60-gallon trash bins -- could be confiscated without notice.

The proposals come as the city, hammered by a 12% rise in homelessness in two years, struggles to rein in the encampments without violating the rights of its 26,000 homeless residents. Previous attempts to crack down have prompted civil rights litigation that left the city on the losing end.

City Atty. Mike Feuer said the ordinances up for debate Tuesday are "more specific and mindful of individuals' rights than the current ordinance."

Some homeless advocates, however, say the measures are written so broadly that their impact could vary widely depending on how they are enforced. Violations can be punished by citation or misdemeanor charges.

Opponents say the measures will do nothing to reduce homelessness, but rather will drive people underground.

"They're only concerned where the visibility of the homeless has become a problem," said longtime skid row activist Alice Callaghan. "They don't care about homeless people."

The mayor has not taken a position on the measures, a spokesman said.

"Our office has been in discussion with the City Council about both ordinances to ensure the city's approach is smart, thoughtful and calibrated to reducing homelessness," the spokesman, Jeff Millman, said in an email.

Under a settlement agreement, homeless people can sleep on public sidewalks overnight but are supposed to fold up their tents from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. In practice, homeless shantytowns have not only proliferated but grown more elaborate, and many remain in place all day.

A federal appeals court in 2012 issued an injunction barring the city from seizing and immediately destroying homeless people's unattended personal property. The underlying legal case is still active.

The city will continue to store homeless people's belongings for 90 days at a skid row warehouse, where they can be reclaimed.

City Councilman Mike Bonin has proposed adding more homeless storage throughout the city. His motion was referred to the council's new homelessness committee, which is slated to meet for the first time Thursday.

Civil rights attorney Carol Sobel, who won the injunction on behalf of homeless people whose property was seized, questioned why the city would tighten enforcement before the storage can be expanded.

"It looks like, once again, the city is going to put enforcement way ahead of services," Sobel said.
 
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Andrea Van Scoyoc

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Lovely...so in this instance, instead of Florida copying what California does, Cali and specifically, L.A, has decided to copy Florida and in particular, Tampa, in destroying homeless camps.

This is sickeningly similar to the Tampa PD destroying what was called, "Tent City," taking knives and slicing up people's tents.

It's not even like they were ragged. Many of them were brand new and had been donated or given to the homeless by kind citizens.

What makes me sick is that the authorities don't distinguish between free spirits and those that just want to take advantage, use and be trouble.

I better stop now...::soapbox::
 

Sip

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Fucking shitty, but then again, I for the life of me can't see why anyone would want to camp in plain view on the sidewalk like that and use it as their main residence day after day... excepting the mentally unwell, of course.
 

Andrea Van Scoyoc

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for the life of me can't see why anyone would want to camp in plain view on the sidewalk like that and use it as their main residence day after day... excepting the mentally unwell, of course.
Sip...

With all due respect, don't you think that's a little judgemental?

Most people crave some sort of human interaction. Many people lack the confidence to travel/live alone and so they congregate with others.

Not everyone has the skills to live in the woods or on the road and as for the mentally unwell, that's a subject for a different thread.

If the US would deal with them, rather than shun/humiliate/ostracize and make mental illness something shameful and to be feared, homelessness would probably be by choice (for the free spirited) only.

Just another viewpoint to consider.
 

Sip

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Make no mistake, I'm not intending to come off as condescending or rude. If that is what they want to do, fine. I mean, I've crashed in my car and stayed in one spot for about 4-5months before. If crashing in the city and kicking it in the park is what they want to do, fine. That's fucking awesome for them. For real. I just would feel totally uncomfortable actually sleeping on the sidewalk like that. That's just me, personally. That's all I'm saying. I don't think they should have they're life ripped down anymore than some guy who's lived in a shelter in the Forrest for 15yrs.
 

lone wolf

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i haven't slept under the stars in about 5 years but will be in that situation very soon. been scouting possible locations but i gotta tell you they are making it more difficult. some of my old spots have been bulldozed for no apparent reason, just left an open field. other locations have been fenced and some spots have been labeled wildlife preserve. so what am i left with? i can't find any good locations near my current job.
 

Tude

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Yeah I've been watching this for a while. And I get the feeling of the one cop here who hounds the kids flying a sign - "not in my town". Which sucks - why can't people be helped? Why can't people be given a decent meal.

Ugh. I need to get back on my project here - a resources document of links to help - food etc - mission set for this weekend.
 
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Brother X

Brother X

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The sad thing is, many, many studies and pilot programs have shown, conclusively that just giving housing to those that want/need it is cheaper in the long run than all the temporary shelter programs, etc. It also leads to longer term well being. So, not everyone wants housing, some live outside by choice and I respect that, but for those that do, why isn't it being provided when it is shown to the the better solution from all angles? Attitude. The "hand out" stigma. The clenched keesters of the hegemony. The puritan hangover that we still suffer from in this country. And of course, greed. Shelters and programs have become big business.
 

Tude

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@Brother X - I do agree with much of this - I live within an 15 minute walk (cause that is where I work) of downtown that encompasses the 2 mile radius of the poorest people in the city (nearby HS is 96% below poverty level families - I get this info because my college/work is involved in this and creating projects to help/cure this) and yeah - the giving can become a lifetime of begetting of one lifespan to the the next to the next and not trying to cure the symptom . I do however give a % of my paycheck to the foundations here to help with the homeless.

Ohhh but one HUGE success is a student we had a few years ago - from Sudan. He graduated from the college I work for (and he was tall and had to duck under my door frame - awesome man!!) and started a not for profit idea and it is now a great thing - bringing water to Sudan by building wells. This year - all 7th graders in NYS are required to read the book he has inspired. I'm not going to post the link here but can be googled. They are called the LOST BOYS OF SUDAN because they fled the war there and became immigrants


And however - I am big on the traveling folk. Which is why I am a couch surfer happy person. Need a place here - you have one. Want a shower, you got it. Meal - I'll feed you. Oh and I have a beer for ya if you want it too. :)
 
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Brother X

Brother X

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It just enrages me how we treat people on the street in this country. Either make housing available to those that want it or leave them the fuck alone. Ok, enough soapboxing. ::soapbox::
 

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