The Challenges of Homelessness in Our Community
The 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count reported 25,686 homeless persons living within the City of Los Angeles…a 16 percent increase from 2013. See PPTFH Data crunched from 2014 LAHSA stats from 2014 PIT Homeless Count here.
Pacific Palisades has experienced an even greater increase in its homeless population as reflected in the increased numbers of visible homeless people on our streets and hillsides, brush fires from encampments, property vandalism, aggressive behavior towards residents and shopkeepers, panhandling and use of public spaces for personal hygiene.
City and County resources are simply unable to meet expanded community protection and effectively meet the needs of homeless individuals living with multiple and complex disabilities. The Palisades community recognizes that in order to preserve and protect its quality of life, and at the same time address the needs of our homeless people, it must proactively initiate and support a unified approach to helping the City and County address our community’s needs.
Purpose and Mission.
The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH) was formed in October 2014 as an independent group of community volunteers committed to compassionately addressing the serious issues associated with homelessness in the Palisades. PPTFH’s mission is “To provide leadership and resources to manage and eliminate the destructive consequences of Palisades’ homelessness so that the community is protected, remains safe and our homeless people receive compassionate, effective services with access to permanent housing.”
While PPTFH seeks to protect the community from the impacts of homelessness, it is committed to helping homeless individuals who are law abiding and willing to receive the compassionate services and permanent housing that they need. To succeed in this endeavor, the hearts, skills, generosity of spirit and resources of the entire community including every community and faith-based organization, business owner and resident will need to collaborate to achieve our goals. With a “can do,” optimistic attitude and unfaltering pursuit of well-conceived goals, within two to three years the Palisades will take pride in having protected its community while providing our homeless persons with pathways to compassionate services, permanent housing and hope for a better future.
PPTFH will work with the community in implementing a three-pronged approach to addressing homelessness in our community:
- Ensure that community protection and safety is a top priority.
- Engage and connect homeless people to professional services and available housing.
- Maximize community-wide involvement and support.
Key steps in achieving PPTFH’s goals are:
1. Collaborate with OPCC (Ocean Park Community Center), to provide highly effective, integrated and comprehensive services to the most traumatized, vulnerable and needy members of our community. OPCC will establish and manage a full-time, professional Palisades “homeless outreach team.” The team will locate and engage our homeless persons , assess their needs, connect them to appropriate services and housing and provide on-call, as-needed support to Palisades residents and businesses in their encounters with our homeless people.
2. Collaborate with park rangers, the fire department and law enforcement to reduce the threat from homeless encampments. Design and implement signage and brush clearance programs to assist law enforcement with removing encampments and creating greater protection against the threat of fire.
3. Actively collaborate with LA City Council offices and the City District Attorney to ensure that policies and procedures are operative for enabling rapid, effective law enforcement and responses to community calls for assistance.
4. Through community fundraising efforts, generate $500,000 to pay for three-years of OPCC homeless outreach team services, the initial move-in expense for our homeless population’s housing and costs associated with signage and brush clearing programs.
5. Train at least 15 community volunteers about homeless support resources and how to aid the OPCC outreach team in working with the Palisades’ homeless population. Training is essential to building internal, long-term community support and capacity for effectively engaging with homeless individuals.
6. Implement a communications program to inform and update the community about the status of Palisades’ homeless initiatives and the resources that are available for needed assistance.
7. Manage PPTFH operations, finances, planning and reporting on strategic initiatives, achievement of the OPCC outreach team success benchmarks and planning for increased, on-going community involvement in addressing homelessness in the Palisades.
For more information contact: