Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..

A Judge Commandeers L.A.’s City Hall In His Campaign To Curb Homelessness

Judge Carter convenes his court in L.A.’s city council chambers

By: Benjamin Oreskes
August 7, 2020 —

A judge commandeers L.A.’s City Hall in his campaign to curb homelessness

With deaths from COVID-19 spiking in California, it might seem unsafe for nearly three dozen politicians, lawyers and activists to pile into a room for a legal hearing about homelessness.

But on Friday, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter sat in the Los Angeles City Council chambers, in a chair normally reserved for the president, as each member of the council — in person or via video — provided updates on the progress of their efforts to create more shelter for homeless people now camped near freeways and underpasses.

Temperatures were taken. Masks were worn, but those accessories sometimes slipped to people’s chins, and city employees and lawyers congregated closely in aisles.

U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, right, speaks with Brooke Weitzman, left, plaintiff counsel, as they and other attorneys and county officials walk along the Santa Ana River Trail in Anaheim on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. The two sides reached an agreement in court that includes posting notices on Wednesday that clearing of homeless tent encampments will resume with a deadline of February 20, 2018. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“This is a rather historic occasion that the federal court would gather in the City Council chamber,” Carter said. “I hope it’s very positive.”

The setting highlighted the commandeering and theatrical posture Carter has taken in his drive to force concrete action on the county’s homeless crisis. The ostensible purpose was a status conference for an agreement reached by the city and county to find alternate shelter for about 7,000 people living on the sidewalks under freeway overpasses.

Several elected officials complained about delays on a variety of projects across the city. Last month, each member identified encampments from which they wanted to see people moved; in some cases, they told Carter about challenges they were facing. Some council members were frustrated by the bureaucracy of city departments.

For example, Councilman Paul Koretz, who represents parts of the Westside and the San Fernando Valley, described how 94 people were living within 500 feet of a freeway in his district. He expressed concern that the judge’s order and subsequent agreement with the city and county would run afoul of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to not clear encampments unnecessarily for fear of spreading the coronavirus further.

Carter’s reports were interspersed with long slide shows of iPhone photos he has taken on his tours of Los Angeles with council members and other advocates for people experiencing homelessness.

Koretz told Carter there are two parks he’d like to use as sites for modular tiny homes, but the Parks and Recreation Department appeared to be opposed to the idea. The judge asked what he could do about it.

“if you have any way to help lean on those departments, that would be 50 tiny homes in those two combined sites,” Koretz said.

“I don’t think it’s that much to ask.”

Orange County Supervisor, Todd Spitzer, chases after Judge David O. Carter on the Santa Ana River Trail near Anaheim Stadium in 2018

Last month, the city set aside $100 million in coronavirus relief funding from the federal government to shelter 6,000 people over the next 18 months. This week, City Administrative Officer Richard Llewellyn offered more details about how to use the money, subject to the approval of the City Council.

Among other projects now in the pipeline is the construction of the tiny homes known as “pallet shelters” in two parks near the 170 Freeway in North Hollywood. They would cost a total of about $13 million and house about 270 people.

Llewellyn estimates that as part of the city’s overall plan, there will be 740 interim beds in total, including the pallet shelters. The plan also lays out how the city intends to increase the amount of available rental assistance, asking that another $100 million in federal funding be set aside for this purpose. This would create 3,000 placements for homeless people over the next 18 months, according to city documents.

The plan will also create 850 temporary shelter beds, Llewellyn estimates, and the city is planning to apply for up to $250 million in state money that can be used to purchase vacant buildings and hotels that would house homeless people.

As the updates were reported to Carter, he peppered elected officials and bureaucrats about conditions on the street. He implored them to go out and see what’s happening in their communities and, as he showed photos of skid row and people passed out on the street, he reminded officials that he is prepared to hold the city and county in contempt of court if they don’t make progress on building more shelter for homeless people living near freeways.

“Remember, skid row was created by all of us,” Carter said.

This article courtesy of MSN News


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2 Comments on "A Judge Commandeers L.A.’s City Hall In His Campaign To Curb Homelessness"

  1. Had this problem Ben correctly addressed 40 years ago when it first started we would be in a different place now. At least some one with some kind of power is trying to make changes. We need to support this as much as possible

  2. Philip Brzezinski | August 8, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Reply

    How about letting the homeless live in City Hall until city council get their heads and asses wired together??? Make the process go faster…

    That’s what I’D do if I was the judge…

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