A proposal was presented to prohibit 'homeless' who camp less than 500 feet from 'sensitive areas'

Los Angeles considers limiting where the homeless can camp

About 60 thousand people live in the streets of Los Angeles.

Aurelia Ventura / Opinion

With about 60,000 homeless people in Los Angeles, the tents are grouped on the sidewalks of the city, in empty lots and under the bridges. But now the city considers limiting the areas where they can camp. For this, proposed changes to the city code were discussed. they would prevent homeless people from sleeping less than 500 feet from “sensitive areas” such as schools, driveways or loading docks.

In addition, in said proposal The city would prohibit people from lying down or sitting on sidewalks in a variety of prohibited areas. It would also establish enforcement provisions for those who harass or threaten pedestrians, although some council members suggested that the language was too vague to establish how the police would issue subpoenas or make arrests.

The proposal unleashed the anger of many protesters who were in the City of Los Angeles, because they believe that these new rules send the wrong message and would be criminalizing the people who live in the streets.

During the public comments, the opponents present expressed their dissatisfaction because the new restrictions would make the homeless look like dangerous people. For a moment, the meeting had to be stopped while the Protestants shouted "Shame!"

Councilman Mike Bonin took sides with the protesters and called this process "late." Bonin said that the city must focus on building shelters for the homeless before creating laws to tell them where they can't sleep.

The discussion came just one week after the president Donald Trump will visit Los Angeles and blame the “liberal” policies of the homeless crisis.

Trump said his administration cannot allow Los Angeles, San Francisco and many other cities to "destroy themselves by allowing what is happening" and promised to do something about it.

Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, visited a Skid Row shelter in Los Angeles last week and called for cooperation between federal, state and local governments. But He was not committed to what he could offer, saying the administration was considering all options, including the reuse of vacant federal buildings for shelters.

The proposal will be heard again by the Council's Poverty and Homeless Committee.


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