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Los Angeles City Council to take action on homeless camping problem

Los Angeles City Council to take action on homeless camping problem

L.A.’s winter homeless shelter gets an upgrade: motel vouchers

Los Angeles Homeless Services provides vouchers for motel stays during the cold season, to help homeless people get off the street. The first 60 vouchers will be distributed early next week.


LOS ANGELES — Homelessness will be the topic of at least one more public hearing before the Los Angeles City Council, as a group of homeless advocates asks that the council take further action against the city’s homeless camping problem and expand the city’s shelter system.

The hearing is tomorrow and starts around 9 a.m. and is expected to last about two hours.

It comes before the council’s regular Thursday meeting. More action might come from the council, which in April unanimously passed a resolution supporting the expansion and development of the city’s homeless tent cities, known as SHTF shelters.

If the council takes up that issue at all, they’d have to balance it with a resolution pushing to have the city increase the number of shelter residents from 2,750 to 3,600.

Homeless advocates are pushing for both resolutions at the same meeting.

Among the speakers at the first public hearing is David McAlister, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. He told the council during a Monday briefing that the authority needs to be able to cope with 1,100 new homeless individuals each year, who are in shelters and not getting off the streets.

During a recent media tour, he said the SHTF shelter system has been expanded to include 11 buildings in Santa Monica, in addition to seven scattered around West L.A.

At the end of last year, just two buildings held the majority of the city’s 4,000 homeless, he said.

“We have been fighting this battle for 35 years and we have been very successful at the very end, when we get everyone off the streets,” McAlister told the council.

McAlister said the authority is being sued by the city for not doing more with its homeless beds.

The city of San Francisco sued the authority in April seeking to shut down its SHTF shelter, the Civic Center Community Center, because of a lack of beds for the homeless.

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