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     …..     …..
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…..     …..     …..  
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     …..     …..
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…..     …..
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    …..     …..
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     …..     …..
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…..     …..     …..  

An L.A. Neighborhood Is in Turmoil After Residents Place Boulders in an Underpass to Deter the Unhoused

An unofficial effort to keep tents from popping up under the highway in the Reynier Village neighborhood has caused citywide outcry

By: Cerise Castle
September 12, 2020 —

On Sunday, September 6, as record-breaking temperatures scorched the region, a crew got to work placing approximately 60 large rocks along the walls of the Cattaraugus Tunnel, an I-10 freeway underpass that connects L.A.’s Reynier Village neighborhood and the Culver City Arts District. The project was orchestrated by a group of housed neighbors intent on keeping unhoused people from continuing to take refuge in the tunnel.

“The city was not able to do it for us, so we took action,” says W. Peter Iliff, a Hollywood screenwriter who’s lived in Reynier Village for two years. “When an opportunity arose and there was no homeless in the tunnel, we moved very quickly, because we were kind of laying in wait for this opportunity.”

Iliff—who wrote both Point Break and Varsity Blues, and directed Trump’s America, a short film that centers on L.A.’s homelessness crisis—co-organized a GoFundMe that promised to “clean up the tunnel, make it safe, and a beautiful gateway to and from Reynier Village,” and raised upward of $3,600. The GoFundMe has since been taken down.

“This is all about us trying to keep our community from [having] our children have to witness this stuff,” he explains. “The choke point has become dangerous.”

Advocates for the unhoused, as well as some of Iliff’s own neighbors, were outraged by the effort to prevent unhoused people from erecting tents in a rare shady spot during the hottest weekend of the year. The South Robertson Neighborhood Council tells Los Angeles that it wasn’t alerted to the plan before it was executed.

Olga Lexell, who sits on the council’s land use and transportation committees, says she regularly spoke to the unhoused resident’s in the tunnel and never felt unsafe. In her opinion, the boulder placement, which took place outside of any formal neighborhood approval process, needs to be investigated.

“As somebody living in this neighborhood, I want to know that these kinds of processes are being considered democratically,” she says. “If I saw something on the [council] agenda about putting rocks under the freeway during a heat wave so that unhoused people have nowhere to go, I would have attended that meeting. And as a member of the public, I would have spoken out.”

Before Sunday, the tunnel was home to three unhoused people, who some residents say mostly kept to themselves, except when they were visiting with a friendly housed neighbor dropping off goods or local activists checking in. The tunnel’s residents started disappearing a few weeks ago, after two of them were taken away by police officers. When the last unhoused resident had not been spotted in his settlement for a few days, the group of homeowners behind the GoFundMe seized the opportunity to place the rocks.

At a South Robertson Neighborhoods Council meeting conducted via Zoom on Tuesday, September 8, more than 60 people called in to voice their disgust with the boulders; only four people who spoke were in favor. On Twitter, Herb J. Wesson Jr., the city councilman who represents the neighborhood, condemned the boulders as “wrong on so many levels” and promised that his office would make sure they were removed.

But as the Tuesday’s council meeting dragged on, activists from the Services Not Sweeps coalition mobilized to do the job themselves, removing about 40 of the boulders from inside the tunnel using rented dollies. They left behind signs condemning the installation, and asking those responsible to consider using the funds spent on the rocks on services for the unhoused.


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Rhiana Casterisano, an organizer with the Services Not Sweeps coalition, says that activists believe that the people who placed boulders had help from local government.

“City council is so known for, like, these shady backdoor deals,” Casterisano says. “You really never know what’s going on behind closed doors.”

During a Thursday meeting of the South Robertson Neighborhood’s Executive Council, Iliff said that he had been contacted by law enforcement and threatened with a charge of illegal dumping if the boulders weren’t removed within 24 hours. He claimed that he had received help from the city council office in districts 5 and 10, and that he had spent more of the GoFundMe money on having them removed. On Thursday afternoon, they were spotted being hauled away.

Lexell, who emailed South Robertson Neighborhood Council board members about the rocks when they were first installed, says she received multiple harassing emails and phone calls from people who were in favor of the boulder project. Still, she doesn’t regret speaking up on behalf of her unhoused neighbors.

“Obviously the more that the public speaks out about it, the more that the neighborhood council is likely to condemn this,” she says.

This article courtesy of Los Angeles Magazine


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