Palisades Homeless Shelter Update

Proposed emergency shelter in Pacific Palisades still inactive

By Sam Catanzaro

A proposed emergency homeless shelter in Pacific Palisades remains on a list of shelter locations as the City of Los Angeles grapples with housing individuals experiencing homelessness during the COID-19 outbreak.

In March, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that several recreation centers in the city, including the Palisades Recreation Center, will be used as emergency shelters. As of May 1, the Palisades shelter had not been activated, according to the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC).

“To our knowledge, there has been no change in the status of the proposed Palisades Recreation Center homeless shelter — the center is ‘still on the list’ but won’t be activated as a shelter unless necessary (i.e., once the other shelters are full),” PPCC wrote in a newsletter on May 1.

On the Westside, currently Westwood Recreation Center is in use, with 108 residents currently occupy the center as of April 28. To see a full list of active shelters, visit https://www.laparks.org/covid-19/shelter

The Palisades Recreation Center shelter has been 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.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), people can leave the shelters under the same condition that any other person can leave their homes.

Nurses will also be posted at the shelter while mental health clinicians will rotate through the 13 locations.

The City is providing food for individuals in the shelter, which will be staffed by City employees and Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) service providers. Medicine will not be available at the shelter, according to the LAPD, who says sick individuals will be transported to hospitals.

Every shelter is inspected by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to ensure social distancing compliance. Individuals staying in the shelter are told of social distancing and hygiene rules upon check-in and are supervised by staff, the LAPD says.

According to Garcetti, nobody will go into a shelter who’s exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Vetting will happen with County health officials before anybody boards a bus and is transported to these areas.

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