Friday, October 30, 2020

What Is Going On With The Homeless In California?

latimes  |  A divided Los Angeles City Council backed off Wednesday from voting on a proposal that would have allowed the removal of homeless encampments anywhere in the city — if shelter is first offered to those living in them.

Facing intense opposition from the public and some of their colleagues, the seven council members who pressed for the amendments to the city’s anti-camping ordinance were unable to muster a majority to move it to a quick adoption.

After a four-hour hearing, when it was clear the council planned to refer the proposal to a committee, Council President Nury Martinez continued the vote to Nov. 24 before the whole council. She said the issue was too important to be shunted to a committee.

The proposed ordinance, prepared by City Attorney Mike Feuer in less than a week after several council members requested it, would also allow the city to remove homeless camps under freeway underpasses and near homeless shelters without the condition of offering shelter.

The proposal divided public speakers between those who opposed a ban, with more than one comparing it to Nazi Germany, and those who pleaded for relief from homeless camps near their homes.

Even though the meeting was held remotely, about 40 opponents gathered outside City Hall to protest.

“Where will we go?” asked Ayman Ahmed, who said he is homeless in Echo Park. “The math doesn’t even add up to go into shelters. There aren’t enough. This lacks common sense.”

Other opponents participated in the council meeting remotely.