Homelessness in the San Fernando Valley … by Alice B. Clagett ..

Revised; originally posted on www.nextdoor.com 8 October 2017; new text is in green font

  • Homeless Statistics in the San Fernando Valley
  • Scarcity of Homeless Shelters in the San Fernando Valley
  • On the Notion of Assigning a Parking Lot … Such as the Vacant Costco Parking Lot on Roscoe … for a Temporary Tent Community
  • Neighborhood Watch and Foot Traffic on Our Public Streets
  • Loitering Laws in Los Angeles
  • Can We Provide Safe Places for the Homeless to Store Their Property?
  • On Working Within the Law for a Solution to the Difficult Problem of Homelessness
  • My Thanks to California for Its Positive Regard for the Underprivileged

Dear Ones,

HOMELESS STATISTICS IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

I read there were about 7,600 homeless in the San Fernando Valley, and 58,000 in LA County as of last year … I read this in:

Link: “Homelessness Increased In Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley: The rising cost of housing, along with a housing shortage, was acknowledged by officials as a top cause of the homeless problem,” by Alexander Nguyen (Patch Staff) – updated  https://patch.com/california/woodlandhills/homelessness-increased-woodland-hills-san-fernando-valley ..

SCARCITY OF HOMELESS SHELTERS IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Because of the influx of homeless into the nearby neighborhoods, I’ve been looking around for homeless shelters in the San Fernando Valley … It seems like shelters for men are scarce. It looks like housing will be built, but maybe is not available yet?

Law enforcement can ask a homeless person to move on, but where will they move to, if no housing resources are available?

ON THE NOTION OF ASSIGNING A PARKING LOT … SUCH AS THE VACANT COSTCO PARKING LOT ON ROSCOE … FOR A TEMPORARY TENT COMMUNITY

I had a thought about the Costco that closed at 21300 Roscoe Blvd in Canoga Park (across from the Salvation Army Store) … it has a big, fenced parking lot which might temporarily be used for tents, if porta-potties and security could be arranged … What do you all think about this possibility?

SMALL POD HOUSING DESIGNED BY VALLEY RESCUE MISSION

Also a possibility, in lieu of or in addition to tenting in a parking lot, might be small pod housing such as that designed by Valley Rescue Mission:

Link: “Local News: These small pods could bring a big solution for LA County’s homeless crisis,” by Susan Abram, sabram@scng.com , Daily News, published: 

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH AND FOOT TRAFFIC ON OUR PUBLIC STREETS

This is a very difficult topic. For myself, as a Neighborhood Watch captain, I want to help my neighbors keep my neighborhood safe, and at the same time not to trespass on other people’s freedom of movement. People walk up and down our public streets all day long, and that’s fine. It’s when they stop and stay around that residents get uneasy.

LOITERING LAWS IN LOS ANGELES

In response to that, there are loitering laws in LA, both in general and also at schools and places where children generally congregate, but I’ve read that they only apply if a person has criminal intent. Most likely a prior criminal record would figure in.

I’ve read there is also a law against walking onto private property and peeking into the door or window, and that law applies if the property is not abandoned. See:

Link: “PC 647: Loitering,” http://esfandilawfirm.com/crimes/loitering-pc-647/

CAN WE PROVIDE SAFE PLACES FOR THE HOMELESS TO STORE THEIR PROPERTY?

I’ve also read that the City of LA passed law 56.11 last year to the effect that a (presumably homeless) person’s storage of items on sidewalks and parkways and in alleys must be no more than what can fit into the garbage bin … see:

Link: “L.A. council OKs law limiting homeless people’s belongings to what can fit in a trash bin,” by Gale Holland, Contact Reporter, 30 March 2016, 3:42 pm, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-homeless-belongings-20160331-story.html ..

I also read that the City has no right to put these belongings into the trash:

Link: “Judge Says Los Angeles Has to Stop Taking Homeless People’s Stuff: A new injunction limits the city’s ability to seize and destroy the property of Skid Row residents,” by Elijah Chiland, 14 April 2016, 9:55 am PDT, https://la.curbed.com/2016/4/14/11428886/los-angeles-homeless-property-seizure ..

The same article suggests the need … I would say citywide … for storage facilities for possessions of transient people.

ON WORKING WITHIN THE LAW FOR A SOLUTION TO THE DIFFICULT PROBLEM OF HOMELESSNESS

I guess what I’m trying to say is, as responsible citizens, and taking this difficult problem into consideration, let us work within the spirit of the legal system. As forward-looking people let us look to fresh solutions to the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles.

  • What is really going on, economically, here?
  • How can we tweak the economy to provide jobs for those who want them, but can’t find them?
  • As a concerned community with humane intent, what may we also do for those who don’t want work, or who, for a constellation of reasons, are unemployable?

In the end, I am hoping that these last prove to be few, and that good work and good housing will be found for most.

MY THANKS TO CALIFORNIA FOR ITS POSITIVE REGARD FOR THE UNDERPRIVILEGED

I would like to add that I’ve traveled here and there in America in recent years, and have found, in general, that California’s attitude toward the underprivileged is a standout in many ways; especially, as regards:

  • positive social action,
  • lack of discrimination toward diversity, and
  • desire to abide within the spirit of the law.

For that depth of human kindness, and for our mutual vision of a new tomorrow in this beautiful land, I thank each of you, from the bottom of my heart.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars
…………………..

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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social issues, homelessness, San Fernando Valley, neighborhood watch, nextdoor, alternative housing,

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