A settlement was reached yesterday regarding how Laguna Beach, Santa Ana and Bellflower will approach homeless encampments.
The compromise will be a healthcare based approach, which means that social workers will assess a homeless person before taking any anti-loitering measures. People who are experiencing homelessness would also be able to tap into a dispute resolution process if they’re denied shelter. If a city has enough shelter beds to accommodate its homeless population, those who refuse to go to a shelter could be sent to jail.
Bellflower’s joining on the settlement might be a bellwether for other cities in L.A. County. We talk with a city voice and a homelessness advocate to get the latest, as well as their reactions to the settlement.
Carol Sobel, civil rights attorney, who is representing the homeless advocacy groups who reached a settlement with Orange and Los Angeles County cities
Michele Martinez, former councilwoman from Santa Ana
Juan Garza, mayor pro tem of Bellflower, president of Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities