A Homeless Plan for the San Fernando Valley … by Alice B. Clagett ..

Revised; filmed on 4 December 2017

Dear Ones,

I was reading an article about how a fire at a homeless encampment alongside Fwy 405 is thought to have started the pricey Skirball fire on 6 December 2017 …

Link: “Skirball fire sparked by illegal cooking fire, California officials say,” by Julia Jacobo, 12 December 2017, http://abcnews.go.com/US/skirball-brush-fire-sparked-illegal-cooking-fire-california/story?id=51746393 ..

I thought it might be a good time to publish the below video about a homeless plan for Los Angeles, as clearly, it’s important to find a solution to the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles, not only for humanitarian reasons (which I myself find very compelling) but also because of …

  • the threat to property owners caused by forest fires,
  • improper sanitation at encampments, which might lead to disease outbreaks, and their spread through homed populations
  • potential lawlessness in confrontations between the homeless and the homed
  • homeowner fears of falling property values,
  • and the clear need to find a way for taxable residents to pay for services for the homeless till they can get back on their feet, as has been evidenced in
    • sharp upticks in property taxes and utility prices in Los Angeles,
    • and declines in some city services, such as …
      • freeway and road repairs, including repaving of residential streets … as I understand it, the block I live on hasn’t been repaired resurfaced since it was first paved, going on 60 years ago.
      • sidewalk repairs caused by street tree roots, although partial rebates may be available for property owners who make such sidewalk repairs … see http://www.sidewalks.lacity.org/ ..
      • repair of potholes in alleys, which issue I explored some years ago and found to be, at that time, insoluble
      • and development of more frequent and more widespread mass transit facilities

If the homeless were housed and employed, they could add to California’s tax base, and assist in financing those Los Angeles City Services that are currently overburdened or on hold.

Further, their tax contributions to the State of California and the City of Los Angeles might help lower the high cost of utilities and property taxes, through a more robust the tax base.

In fact, the simple act of just one homeless person finding good employment gives the City a big lift, in terms of it’s need to support and uplift those in need.

There’s a Summary after the video; text not in the video is in green font

VIDEO BY ALICE

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO

Hello, Dear Ones, It’s Alice. I Am of the Stars.

This is a continuation of a suggestion I had for a place to house, or allow an encampment of, homeless people, especially men, or men who are with a woman, but not families. Or maybe just homeless men, in the San Fernando Valley. I understand there are about 6,000 people that need homes there.

Anyway, I came up with this notion, and I’m putting it forth as a possibility. If you like the idea, but the location is not appropriate, then you could use the parameters that I’m choosing by, to find another location in the San Fernando Valley.

So I had in mind, as a locale, the parking lot … and maybe also, as time goes on, the building that used to be Costco, at the intersection of Canoga Avenue and Roscoe Blvd in the San Fernando Valley. That’s the southeast corner of that intersection.

It features a big parking lot, and then there’s a really big Costco building there. There’s also a special kind of fueling station … an electric charging station … there in the parking lot right now. But the Costco has closed up and gone elsewhere, and the property has been, for some time, vacant … probably for lease or for sale.

So I had some thoughts about that …

It’s kind of off by itself. It’s not next to a shopping center, like the OSH property that was deserted at the northeast corner of Victory Blvd and Fallbrook Avenue in the San Fernando Valley. So there is less likely to be complaints about it from shopping center upscale retail stores.

And it’s across the street from a Salvation Army Thrift Store and facility. And it’s also next door to a Home Depot.

And I thought a few things: I thought that, with a high fence, the part of the parking lot that’s not being used otherwise could be fenced off and used as a place where the homeless could pitch their tents.

And I also thought that the people at Salvation Army might be ideally suited to help maintain such a homeless encampment, or to provide professional advice regarding it.

Then, there’s a Salvation Army store right there, which would provide cheap goods.

And the Home Depot, I’ve noticed that there are day laborers who gather outside, ready to help people with their home improvement and repair projects. And I wondered if that might be, temporarily, a source of day labor for the homeless encampment.

Also I thought of Home Depot and Lowes, because they have inexpensive, prefabricated sheds. The smallest of these sheds might be helpful to put up as semi-permanent locations, that would provide some security for their goods if they were to go off on a day job, or other job. And that might also provide them with safety while they are sleeping, and better protection from the elements in case of rain, or like that. Although it would be pretty hot in the summertime. And it wouldn’t necessarily have electricity in it.

I feel that the City of Los Angeles might be able to provide WCs, porta-potties, of the kind that have footpumped water dispensers, so that people could wash their hands with and soap. And so there would waste disposal facilities that could be quickly set up and pretty easily managed, I think.

This is the problem: There’s no grocery store extremely close, although within walking distance for those that are not too handicapped, I feel, there are a couple of big grocery stores. The nearest, 2 blocks to the west, on Roscoe, is Vallarta Supermarkets, which is quite well stocked. But not too close, so maybe a shuttle might be provided, from the place where the people are encamped, to a grocery store … maybe once a day, or twice a day; what do you think?

But in addition, for sundries and a minimal amount of food supplies, there’s a liquor store within a block, a little to the south, on Canoga Ave,

Next to the liquor store is a Post office. I know that a lot of homeless people are depending on their Social Security, SSDI (Social Security Disability Benefits) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) checks, and that might be a place where they could establish an address, a Post Office Box.

I also noticed there are mass transit routes on both Canoga Avenue and Roscoe Blvd., so that’s good.

So there are a lot of reasons why that particular location is a really good one, for the time being.

Then, I wondered about the Costco … A little bit farther out, a little bit later on, I wondered if there might be a way to provide an incentive for businesses to emply the homeless in stalls, or stations, in that Costco. So that it could be rented, by the year, or whatever, by any number of small businesses that are struggling to get on their feet, and that might get a tax advantage from hiring those people that are homeless.

Also I thought, as far as tax advantages are concerned: Maybe there could be a credit if, say, Home Depot, or Lowes, or one of the local lumber companies or hardware stores wanted to provide a discount on … or even provide outright … some of the small shelters that might be needed for the homeless population in the parking lot.

So basically, that’s what I’m thinking.

To the east, there’s a homeless facility that’s open only during the cold winter months, the coldest months of the year. This is an 85-bed facility in Sylmar now open only in the winter, but which is planned to be converted to a year-round bridge housing facility for women.

Link: “Homeless Shelter For Women To Open In San Fernando Valley,” by California Patch, News Partner, 3 October

But I feel that, in the encampment I’m proposing, it might be good to separate the population, even in that one large parking lot, into …

  • single men, for one large area,
  • and then families, for another area,
  • and then in another area: Handicapped people. And the reason to allow handicapped access to another area is that, there might be some roughhousing and carrying on in the men’s area, for instance. And the handicapped can’t move quite so fast sometimes … They’re not as mobile … And they might be better protected in a separate enclosure.

So those are my thoughts.

I also think that a grading system might be established … maybe with Salvation Army, at first, training people who are in the encampment, to become caretakers or people to help keep order and make sure everything is ok … to call the police if any roughhousing happens, and to have strict rules about that, so that the people that are there can feel safe and comfortable.

And also, if it turns that there are people who are either employed as day laborers for Home Depot, or else, say, in a sort of a factory situation, inside of Costco, if that were to work out … Or even if something were to be worked out in the parking lot there, for day laborers with rudimentary manual skills … then there might be these people who have been trained to help decorum during the day, and to make sure that there are no instances of substance abuse, and like that, which cause the feeling that there might be an unsafe situation happening.

I wondered further … If the homeless were employed, whether there might be a discounted training position available. That is, maybe part of the wage that a person received might be benefits for substance abuse programs, or psychological or health issues programs that might be provided ‘on campus’, as it were.

Well that’s my thought: That place, or someplace like it might prove to be quite a Godsend for the homeless population here in the San Fernando Valley.

Tell me what you think about it! This is a topic for neighborhood discussion.

Talk to you later! Bye bye …

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars
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homeless, homelessness, San Fernando Valley, government, social issues, Skirball Fire, employment, unemployment, sites for homeless facilities, homeless encampments, tent cities, cities of light, cities of Earth, alternative housing,

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