City of Los Angeles ramping down emergency homeless shelter program
By Sam Catanzaro
An emergency homeless shelter slated for the Palisades Recreation Center will not be used, Palisades News has been told.
According to Councilmember Mike Bonin, an emergency shelter planned for Palisades Recreation Center to house individuals experiencing homelessness during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will not be used.
“Palisades and Oakwood [Venice] will not become operational,” Bonin told Palisades News during a Zoom interview last Thursday. “The Mayor’s office announced that they are starting to ramp down the emergency shelters at the rec centers and they will not be opening any new beds at the rec centers. And as beds become available they will not fill them. And they are now aggressively trying to transition the people who were in the shelters into hotels.”
In addition, Bonin noted that the Westchester shelter that is operational should be shutting down soon.
The Palisades Recreation Center shelter was met by some pushback from community stakeholders.
“Serious questions remain as to whether the use of PRC would be prudent, suitable or safe for either the homeless or the Palisades community,” PPCC wrote in a letter to Garcetti, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Councilmember Mike Bonin.
The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness also sent a letter to lawmakers expressing similar reservations about the proposed shelter.
Bonin noted that while the emergency shelter will not be activated in Pacific Palisades, he supports housing homeless individuals in all areas across District 11.
“I would support doing homeless housing in any neighborhood in my district,” Bonin said. “There is no neighborhood in my district or frankly anywhere in the city that should be off the table.”
Bonin did note, however, that long term shelters may not be the best option for solving the homelessness crisis.
“I am not a huge fan of expanding our shelter capacity if we have an opportunity with the federal funds that are coming to actually do long term solutions. Shelters are at the moment a necessary stopgap. I want to move past that. I think we have an opportunity with the federal funds that are coming in terms of stimulus and recovery funds to actually make a permanent dent in homelessness. In some cases that is going to be purchasing properties. In some cases that is going to be leasing properties,” Bonin.
Watch the full interview above.