This week the City Council overwhelming passed three critical pieces of legislation I authored focused on the homelessness crisis in the West Valley. These efforts involved the following:
- Bringing more mental health and drug treatment interventions to our local streets
- Creating new local innovative shared housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness
- Establishing limited, but sensible ‘no encampment’ locations along certain critical public right-of-ways
I want to share a bit more about each of these endeavors and what specifically they will do.
More Mental Health Care and Drug Treatment for Those in Need— The homelessness crisis is inextricably linked with drug and mental health issues. Not all unhoused people suffer from these afflictions, but every time I do outreach in our community I see the reality that the services simply aren’t as available or accessible as they should be. We can’t wait on the County mental health officials to connect folks with their services. This approach is leaving too many people suffering in the streets. That’s why I am dedicating City funds to support a pilot program to dispatch teams from the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center to specifically serve our district. The initial pilot will last one year and I’m excited to finally have dedicated teams from one of our region’s most reputable community organizations to be on the ground, specifically dispatched to help those on our West Valley streets. They will be providing real treatment for folks on the street and linking them up with appropriate services.
More Shared Housing in the West Valley- With the City Council’s vote, we solidified a new partnership with Self Help and Recovery Exchange (SHARE!) Collaborative Housing to create more innovative housing options. SHARE! is a nonprofit organization that facilitates various support groups as well as ‘shared housing’ anchored in fostering community. In short, they provide the opportunity to transform market rate apartments and houses into shared living spaces for like-minded adult roommates who are rebuilding their lives. Their collaborative housing public-private partnership provides affordable and permanent housing to vulnerable Angelenos and I am excited to bring their vision and growing track record of housing folks who desperately need it to the West Valley.
Beyond the discretionary funds I’ve allocated to help bring them to our community, I’ve also directed various City departments to assist in finding more money for this sort of program.
New 41.18 Laws ‘On the Books,’ What Does it Mean for CD3- I’ve written often about how this new law paves the way to have certain public rights of way free of encampments. When the law took effect, I offered one of the first resolutions to outline where this should first be applied in the 3rd district. With each of the locations I had to justify why that location needed to be free of encampments.
My resolutions will make areas within 500 feet from all 14 of the 101 freeway under- and over-passes in my district (i.e. Corbin and Bowlero) and the locations within 1000 feet from any of the new homelessness intervention sites in my district (i.e. the Reseda and Tarzana Cabin Communities) off-limits to encampments. This does not “criminalize being homeless” as some critics contend, it merely makes some important corridors ‘off-limits’ to encampments. In fact, this resolution applies only to specific areas where extensive outreach has been done and access to the public right of way is particularly critical. And the district’s new interim housing and intense outreach are critical components for successfully using this law now.
I’ll continue to share as more progress is made. If you have any questions, please reach out to me or my staff by calling 818.774.4330 or by sending us an email at [email protected].
Do you like this page?