Los Angeles passes measure limiting homeless encampments – News Vibe24

    Los Angeles passes measure limiting homeless encampments - Times of India
    LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles City Council approved an extended anti-camp measure on Thursday that will severely limit the extensive homeless camps that have become visible throughout the city.
    The measure was billed as a compassionate approach to take people off the streets and restore access to public spaces in the city with the nation’s second largest homeless population, although critics said it would criminalize the problem. It would not be enforced until someone turned down an offer of shelter.
    “I can think of no reason why we should not unite to support what the people of Los Angeles want us to do,” said Councilor Paul Krekorian, author of the measure. “Restore order to our streets, while at the same time upgrading and providing services to those in need.”
    Among other limits, the decree passed 13-2 would prohibit sitting, lying, sleeping or storing personal belongings on sidewalks that prevent access for people with disabilities, near roads and at a distance of 500 meters (152 meters) from schools, day care centers, libraries or parks.
    The measure, which will not take effect until the second vote next month, replaces a more punitive proposal against the camp that was delayed in a committee. Police will only be involved if there is a crime and people who resist leaving will plead guilty instead of being arrested for abuse.
    The majority of callers spoke in favor of the measure during a limited period of public commentary, describing homeless meetings that included attacks, breaks, and explaining how children walking to school are forced into a busy street to avoid sidewalk scenes.
    Opponents of the measure, including a couple who used profanity, said they had no compassion and would criminalize a problem the city failed to solve.
    A lawyer for the homeless said the measure is loosely written to allow for a broad interpretation of enforcement and will make most of the city out of bounds for people living on the street.
    “Draconian is definitely the right word,” said Pete White of the LA Community Action Network. “I think it is impossible to comply.”
    White said a decree restricting people who could park RVs and sleep in cars overnight left just over 5% of the roads available for parking.
    The lack of housing has become a crisis of “epic proportions”, the measure says. It remains close to the top of the agenda policies across the state.
    California is home to more than a quarter of the nation’s homeless, according to federal figures. The city of Los Angeles has an estimated homeless population of over 40,000, which is second only to New York.
    A federal judge has ordered the city of Los Angeles to offer housing to thousands of homeless people on the famous Skid Row until the fall, although an appeals court has suspended it.
    Two Republican candidates seeking to replace Democratic Gavin Newsom in a by-election came to Los Angeles County this week to announce their plans to address the political issue.
    As the crisis spreads across Los Angeles, a dispute over how to resolve the issue has become a flashpoint on the beach in Venice, where a camp exploded in size during the coronavirus pandemic.
    The situation has left residents tired and worried about their safety – and the well-being of those living in tents – following a number of violent incidents, including the death last week of a person living on the beach. A homeless man was arrested in the case.
    Sheriff Alex Vigianeva, whose deputies patrol parts of the county, entered the city with a group of homeless people to announce a plan to house people by July 4th.
    His high blow, which has driven some people off the board but is unlikely to hit his target this weekend, has been met with resistance from much of the Los Angeles’s political establishment, most notably MP Mike Bonin. whose area includes Venice.
    Bonin, who criticized an approach that could lead to prison housing, Vilanueva running if people do not leave, began his own plan days later. This effort, which has transported 64 people indoors, unfolds in various phases in August and promises to eventually offer permanent housing.
    Boyn was among lawmakers who opposed the measure on Thursday, saying the city did not have tens of thousands of beds for the homeless and criticized the plan for not showing where sleeping and camping would be allowed.

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