Photo credit to westsidecurrent.com
We’ve all been watching and waiting for the City of LA to clean up the RV encampments and it’s been an exercise in frustration and futility, to say the least. It doesn’t help that our specific Councilman believes in the uber expensive housing first (and nothing else) model.
Enter the County!
I noticed in January that for the first time in history, our Board of Supervisors is made up of all women. You can watch a fascinating 20 minute documentary on this development here.
This is a development the voters of the City of LA should watch and consider.
Homelessness is a complex and large issue. Leave it to the all woman Board of Supervisors to start with a manageable portion of the problem and devise a comprehensive plan that can replicated later for the bigger problem, after practical experience and testing with the smaller group.
Yesterday, the Board approved a motion to create a 36-month pilot program to dismantle the RV encampments. The program won’t start for another four months at a minimum, but the way I read the motion, I’m very impressed with its thoroughness and ability to be replicated later for other segments of the unhoused population.
Read the full motion here.
In my own reading of the motion, it:
- Instructs CEO-HI (Homeless Initiative) to spend up to 30 days consulting with other County departments and outside agencies (Public Works, Public Health, Regional Planning, Mental Health, Health Services, Sheriff’s Dept, St Joseph Vehicular Homeless Outreach, LA Homeless Services) and then spend up to 120 days preparing a report outlining a 36-month pilot RV program which:
- creates, staffs and equips an entity to prioritize hot spots
- connects RV dwellers to housing options, including hotel vouchers
- assesses and connects people to support services (mental, physical, addiction, social)
- establishes ONE Safe Parking site in each County Supervisorial District
- establishes guidelines, roles and responsibilities for dismantling inoperable and voluntarily surrendered RV’s
- establishes guidelines, roles and responsibilities for RV waste
- establishes incentives for transition to housing
- Instructs CEO-HI to work with the other departments and agencies above to create a budget and identify potential funding sources to implement the pilot program, along with success measures and deliverable goals to accomplish at a minimum:
- engages at least 500 RV dwellers annually and dismantles 900 inoperable RV during the 36-month program
- aligns and coordinates existing County programs and services for unhoused individuals
- coordinates with other agencies to determine staffing needs to expand St Joseph’s Vehicular Homeless Outreach Program (VHOP) to all Supervisorial districts as outlined in the initial report
- Instructs CEO-HI & CEO Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations to secure state and federal funding for the pilot program
- Instructs the Director of the Dept of Public Health to report back in 120 days with recommendations to sustainably dispose of RV-related waste
- Instructs Director of Dept of Public Works to collaborate with the Department of Arts & Culture to collaborate with an Artist in Residence program to create low-cost beautification interventions in hot spots to deter re-population of RV encampments and to pursue grants to support the same
- Instructs CEO-HI to engage with local city governments to develop a framework for participation and partnership in the pilot program
This motion puts all the relevant parties at the table, covers the funding, requires a plan to engage city governments and takes a stab at a solution to discourage re-population of the hot spots, all on a relatively aggressive but achievable timeline. And don’t miss the part about success measures and deliverable goal requirements. I never see those in City programs.
What’s missing? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Maybe now we can regain control of our ecologically sensitive wetlands and start remediating the damage our Councilman allowed.
And our park! I assume that the requirement of ONE safe parking location in each supervisorial district takes our little park off the table for Safe Parking. How nice will it be to have our park available again for families and seniors?
By the way, if you don’t follow County politics or haven’t been keeping up since redistricting, one of the co-authors of the motion, Holly Mitchell, is our Supervisor in Westchester and the Playas. Go Holly!