To “do good” for the homeless we have to “do right.” Their recovery from homelessness has to be sustainable. That means getting them the right resources in the right place. If the homeless person’s recovery is to succeed, they need to be near housing which they can eventually afford and to be near jobs for which they can eventually qualify.
Realistically and practically, that is not in Manhattan Beach as our housing costs are high and we do not have an abundant source of entry level jobs. If the homeless person is rehabilitated, to be sustainable there has to be the best possible chance for continued success.
In addition, the cost of building a Homeless Shelter in Manhattan Beach does not make sense. It would be too expensive and not provide enough spaces. The money would be much better spent in an area where real estate and building costs are not so expensive, where there are existing homeless services and would serve more of the homeless.
Homelessness is a regional issue and requires a regional approach. I fully support and will work hard to continue the manner in which the City meets the homeless challenge
- The Beach Cities folks experiencing homelessness are largely voluntarily homeless due to substance abuse and mental illness. As such they require substantive County resources we are already paying for through Measure H funding.
- We need expanded legal definitions of Gravely Disabled which will allow the County to step in with more involuntary psych holds. More psych holds get more folks off the street and into conservatorships and FSP—Full Service Partnerships. There’s a pilot project to do just that championed by Mark Ridley-Thomas on the BOS. We need to support this pilot project and others that give more latitude to place 5150 holds on those unable to care for themselves.
The city has leveraged Measure H funds which are generated by a quarter-cent sales tax overwhelmingly approved by voters in March, 2017. Measure H is projected to net $3.55 billion in the next ten years for homeless programs, including local plans to combat the issues within cities. Manhattan Beach has joined a regional approach with Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach to successfully apply for a Measure H grant to respond to the homelessness issue. This has mitigated the need for the City of Manhattan Beach to fully fund a solution for the homeless issue.
In April 2019, the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative announced the award of Measure H grant funding to the South Bay Beach Cities totaling $330,665 towards homeless coordination, training and housing navigation services. Through the $330,666 City Homelessness Plan Implementation Grant provided by the County of Los Angeles and approved by the Manhattan Beach City Council on September 4, 2019, the City (along with regional partners in Redondo and Hermosa Beach) solicited proposals from a qualified homeless service provider. City Council awarded a subcontract to a qualified homeless services firm, Harbor Interfaith Services, to provide three full-time equivalent positions to assist homeless individuals and families in the South Bay Beach Cities.
Supportive services throughout L.A. County include, efforts to prevent homelessness, coordinate entry systems and outreach services, and subsidize supportive and affordable housing initiatives. Hence, no additional funds are budgeted by the City of Manhattan Beach and appropriate police department resources and training are already included to address homelessness.
The Manhattan Beach Police Department has been responsive to concerns and continues to actively monitor incidents while respecting the rights of homeless individuals and ensuring public safety. They partner with the shared staff resource from the Los Angeles County of Mental Health on every call regarding a homeless individual. Together they develop a humane and caring course of action to address the needs of the homeless individual. This process has worked very well.
Nicole Watson of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health- Department of Mental Health stated on July 9 2020 at a special community City Council Meeting on Policing in Manhattan Beach:
“Personally, I support and prefer to work in the model I am now in and have been for quite some time. My honest opinion is the police department and the police officers I have worked with and encountered are absolutely wonderful. They are extremely receptive to learning about mental health. They are extremely receptive to learning about the resources that are available in the community. And they are open to discussing these topics more and more. And I really commend officers for the work that they do. They are still helping out and responding and keeping me informed of situations that are going on when I'm not present. And they do really good work out there. And when I'm present, they allow me and my police officer partner who I'm with for that day to take the lead on the mental health calls. Again, I appreciate the police the police departments I work with.”
[The City of Manhattan Beach “Homelessness” website was used to provide some of this information and can be found at https://www.citymb.info/government/city-manager/homelessness]
To report incidents of public safety concern, related to homeless individuals, please call the Police Department's non-emergency number at (310) 545-4566.
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