Los Angeles is facing the worst poverty and homelessness crisis it has ever seen. According to the LAist.com, “there are more than 27,000 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the city of Los Angeles at any given time.” However, there are “only about 8,100 shelter beds. More than half of those beds are reserved for families and children.”
The result? Streets flooded with individuals who have no place to go. California has been at battle because their homeless population congregates on public sidewalks, tent encampments and even individuals’ private property. The issue has “mushroomed into perhaps the most distressing and politically toxic issue in Southern California today.”
The Los Angeles City Council’s homelessness and poverty committee earlier this week recommended repealing Municipal Code (L.A.M.C.) section 41.18 which is “known in homeless advocacy circles as the ‘sit-lie’ law” because it makes it “a criminal offense to sit, lie, or sleep on a public sidewalk anywhere in the city.”
In the replacement law that advocates have proposed, the circumstances in which a homeless person is not allowed to “sit and lie” is greatly decreased. In a 3-0 vote in favor of rewriting the law, the list of prohibited conditions for sitting, sleeping or lying include:
• Within 10 feet of a driveway or building entrance.
• Within 500 feet of a park, school or daycare center.
• Within 500 feet of a homeless shelter or homeless housing that’s opened since January 2018.
• In any way that violates free passage of someone in a wheelchair pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
• On bike paths.
• In or upon any tunnel, bridge or pedestrian subway that is on a city-designated school route.
• On public land with posted “no trespassing” signs and closing times.
• On “crowded public sidewalk areas” like those where street vending is outlawed or near large venues.
First of all, what are the odds that any homeless person living on the streets has any knowledge of, or cares to learn, about homeless restrictions. How many people are going to measure the 10 feet to the nearest driveway, or 500 feet away from the nearest park, school or daycare center.
Even better are the responses of the liberal lunatics who find the proposal “inhumane” because the 500-foot rule would force the homeless farther from public restrooms. “If you can’t be within 500 feet of a park, that means you have to go 500 feet to pee or poop” said Peggy Lee Kennedy, an advocate for the homeless.
Another homeless advocate, Jed Parriott said “this severely limits where you can camp legally, which is going to effectively create containment zones like Skid Row all over the city.” Parriott fails to recognize the alternative of free rein anarchy. How is that working out for you, Los Angeles?