LETTER: Resident Asks City Not to House Homeless in Rec Centers

The homeless in Pacific Palisades are being helped through the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness. Now the City wants to bring in additional homeless.

(Editor’s note: the following letter was sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Mike Bonin, Pacific Palisades Senior Lead Officer and Carol Sanborn, who is the fundraising chair for the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness.)

During our COVID-19 health crisis, you recently proposed busing homeless people into the Pacific Palisades Recreation Center. While we applaud your commitment to serving the public, our family, friends and fellow homeowners strongly object to your current plan. Please house elsewhere.

Our Recreation Center includes a small park, a children’s playground, a few tennis courts and baseball fields -maintenance is taken care of by residents. Within three blocks there are four elementary schools and a grocery store.

The cleanliness and safety of this family-friendly area must be preserved.  Thanks to efforts by our local PPTFH (Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness), the homeless population in the Palisades has remained virtually zero.  We therefore assume you are planning to import new homeless from elsewhere in Council District 11.

Starting in 2016, taxpayers began sacrificing $1.2 billion to address the city’s homeless.  Yet four years later, we still lack adequate infrastructure.  Neither the Jones nor Boise decisions prevent LAPD from dismantling illegal homeless encampments during the daytime.

Yet for years, LAPD has stood down on enforcement, perhaps at your direction.  By coddling the homeless, the Councilman has allowed accumulation in his district, growing the same health hazards and filth we see in Skid Row. Via recent legal settlements, homeless appear unmovable, and would not likely be returned to their pre-COVID origins after their residence at our Rec Center.

Through Proposition 47, minor crimes are effectively no longer enforced and/or prosecuted.  If permitted into the Palisades, the new homeless will likely roam, often intoxicated, committing crime and theft in an area sparsely covered by the LAPD. As disastrously seen elsewhere in CD11, and all over Los Angeles, criminal blight would continue, but now in our neighborhood as well.

We in Pacific Palisades should not be asked to integrate your new homeless as if they are safe neighbors. We already know they are not.

Thank you for your understanding, and for your continued service to the City.

Respectfully, Matthew Reiser CD11 resident, and Los Angeles native

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