Councilman Mike Bonin sent a May 23 Newsletter to residents, “A Budget to Build Back Better,” detailing how he would spend $1 billion to fight the homeless crisis. The solutions and money centered almost solely on housing.
1) More than $360 million would come from HHH to build more than 5,600 permanent housing units in 89 projects throughout Los Angeles.
2) That $140 million would be provided for hotel and motel conversions to offer 1,500 rooms for housing and shelter to get people out of encampments and off the street quickly.
3) There would be $100 million to increase the supply of affordable housing, homeless and eviction prevention, and homeless outreach programs. Plus increased mobile hygiene stations and sanitation services to help keep areas with encampments clean and sanitary.
4) There would be a pool of funds to tap for Encampment to Home programs that move people from areas of large encampments, such as Venice Beach, into long-term housing.
5) There would be some funding for a multi-disciplinary team that reaches out to unhoused neighbors in Council District 11, offering help for those suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems.
6) About $3 million for the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA RISE), which provides job development activities for homeless individuals and for participants at A Bridge Home sites.
Reading Bonin’s proposals, it would seem that the majority of the homeless are poor, have lost jobs or have been kicked out of apartments for not paying rents (which has been illegal under Covid-19).
The reality is there has to be a plan in place for:
1) Those who are severely mentally ill;
2) Those with substance abuse issues;
3) Any persons who have garnered early release from prison (a prisoner needs a reliable release support plan that includes transitional support and housing).
Based on the experiences of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness, those who are truly down on their luck say they will take assistance in finding housing, but those who are in the other category — about 67 percent, according to the L.A. Times — say they will not.
What plans does Bonin have for the mentally ill and the drug/alcohol users and early release prisoners?
He doesn’t, beyond creating the multi-disciplinary outreach team. And his housing plans involve taking away beach locations and City parks.
This Wednesday, the L.A. City Council will vote on a Homeless and Poverty Committee Report, the Bonin-Ridley-Thomas motion (CF 21-0350) that would evaluate and identify funding for 1) tiny homes at Will Rogers Beach, 2) tiny homes or safe camping at Dockweiler, 3) tiny homes at Fiji Way in Marina Del Rey, 4) instruct Recreation and Parks to look at parts of Westchester Park and Mar Vista Park to house homeless, 5) look at an airport-owned site the City can use, 6) fund a temporary shelter for homeless women in the vacant space next to Council District 11 offices at Corinth Avenue, and 7) purchase additional hotels and motels.
To hear the proceedings at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, visit: https://clerk.lacity.org/calendar. Members of the public who wish to offer public comment to the Council should call (669) 254-5252 and use Meeting ID No. 160 535 8466 and then press #. Press # again when prompted for participant ID.
One resident wrote on Nextdoor: “Although the Motion calls only for an ‘evaluation’ and to ‘identify funding,’ anyone who has dealt with the City knows that those supposed preliminary actions are only pretenses to deter or deflect criticism of what the City has already planned to do. Direct actions, such as legal actions, by private citizen groups such as PPRA or by private citizens are the most effective way to impose sanity on the flailing actions of the City’s politicians.”
To date, numerous petitions, letters and comments from the general public opposing the idea have been labeled as NIMBYISM. The Pacific Palisades Community Council is considering legal action (visit: pacpalicc.org), as is the Pacific Palisades Residents Association (visit: palisadesresidents.com).