Homelessness: What the City of West Hollywood Is Doing About It, Part 4

homeless, west hollywood
A winter cold weather shelter operated by Ascencia.

What is the City of West Hollywood doing to address the homelessness issue, an issue that is affecting all of Los Angeles County? WEHOville reached out to City Hall for an answer. This article is the fourth and final in a series outlining how City Hall sees the homelessness issue and what it is doing about it.

In the first article, which can be seen here, the city explains the complexity of the situation and puts it in the context of the principles on which the City of West Hollywood was founded. The second article, which can be seen here, describes the work down by the city’s Human Services & Rent Stabilization Department, which includes the Housing & Rent Stabilization and Social Services divisions. Both play important roles in the city’s Homeless Initiative. The third article explains efforts by the city’s Public Safety Department and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station to deal with issues involving homelessness. Today, the city explains the work by the West Hollywood Library and its engagement with the Chamber of Commerce’s Homelessness Committee and local businesses on the homeless issue.

Economic Development Department and the Business Community

City staff works closely with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Homelessness Committee to maintain an ongoing dialogue regarding the impacts of homelessness on the business community. City staff, social services providers and public safety agencies (including Sheriff’s and Block by Block) also respond to requests from the business community to help address impacts of homeless on a site-by-site basis.

Members of the Chamber’s Homelessness Committee have toured some of the service provider locations, and have begun to engage in creative partnerships to support the work of those homeless services providers by speaking at career information programs, providing meals, clothing and toiletries for the clients of those agencies.

Economic Development and the West Hollywood Library

The Economic Development Department oversees the city’s relationship with the West Hollywood Library, operated by Los Angeles County. After some discussion with library and city staff regarding interventions to address the impacts of homeless at the library, a pilot program was launched in October of 2016 to provide on-site service delivery at the library,

The library project is a strategic collaboration between the city, the County of Los Angeles Public Library and the city’s contracted providers, including Ascencia, Step Up on Second, the L.A. LGBT Center, Safe Refuge, Friends Community Center and Tarzana Treatment Centers.

The organizations are providing on-site outreach Monday through Friday, which provides a connection to services and support. All participating agencies are nonprofit organizations with deep experience in providing targeted services to people who are homeless, including LGBT youth and people who have mental health needs and/or substance use issues. In addition to providing a connection to a continuum of services from within their own organizations, the providers also have the ability to make referrals to other needed services and programs.

The hours of service at the West Hollywood Library are:

— Mondays — Ascencia, 1 to 3 p.m.;
— Tuesdays — LA LGBT Center (Youth Services and Mental Health Services), 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.;
— Wednesdays — Safe Refuge, 10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.;
— Thursdays — Step Up on Second, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and
— Fridays — Friends Community Center or Tarzana Treatment Centers, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Meetings and discussions continue with library staff and the providers about how the project is working for them and how we can most effectively leverage resources, and adjustments are made as needed. Having a stable, private, brick and mortar location has been vital to the providers in allowing them to conduct in-depth assessments and intakes. Seeing success in linking community members to needed services, the program has continued.


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Harsh Reality
Guest
Harsh Reality

Many months ago, there were far more people saying we just need more affordable housing, drug counseling, and compassion. Well, kindness doesn’t help you unsee a wasted homeless man defecating on the sidewalk. If the comments here are any indication, the public is growing more and more frustrated with the unchecked homeless population, and the city needs to take note immediately. If Weho solidifies a reputation for having a serious homeless problem, property taxes, sales taxes, and hotel taxes will fall. That is a very real problem that will ripple throughout the city. Offering homeless services is compassionate, but addressing… Read more »

Hope C.
Guest
Hope C.

This is a direct result of being a sanctuary city, along with prop 47 and ab109/early release of inmates .

Beau
Guest
Beau

When our safety (samaritan getting axed) and health (Hepatitis) are concerned it’s time to move swiftly. We can’t let them hang out here. These are human beings and I don’t take this lightly. Getting them off our streets and to an LA shelter is the best thing for all involved.

We need to power wash the sidewalks and clean up. This isn’t me being snobby, we need to avert a larger health crisis, and protect ourselves and our economy. If you’re homeless with a problem we’ll get you to help, but you can’t stay here.

Bob Bishop
Guest
Bob Bishop

My solution for the homeless: Show them where Jake Paul lives.

JJ
Guest
JJ

I always thought of WeHo as a safe, clean nice little city. NO MORE. And it’s not just me but when family visited recently, they remarked how the homeless situation here is out of control and mentioned how they smell urine as they walked SMBlvd. and how there were bodies all over the ground and shopping carts everywhere. We are allowing our City to become a big dump. Nothing will kill our tourism faster…$$$ we rely on for all our City services. The City Council better to something to clean things up!!!!!

JJ
Guest
JJ

Another thing we can do to deter homeless from coming into out City is to get the PAVILIONS RECYCLE CENTER CLOSED! This draws the homeless from all over and the Norma Triangle -in particular -is feeling the negative effects of its presence. Most recycle centers are located along freeways and in more industrial areas.

Bonni Champlin
Guest
Bonni Champlin

It’s getting worse walking around town all the time, SMB and our residential streets littered with debris & stench where ppl have spent the night–I no longer feel safe walking around–VERY expensive to live here we must do better!—other nearby cities like SM seem not nearly as bad–must have homeless shelters & not street-living imo– probly not a popular opinion–it also hurts local businesses…

Rog
Guest
Rog

So these “clients” (homeless people) can enjoy the meals, clothing and toiletries provided to them while they sprawl on our sidewalks, bus stops, the library, parks, etc. and yell at passersby who don’t give them money.

carleton cronin
Guest
carleton cronin

We should be careful to not emulate the city of Los Angel;es with its dithering and a dedicated fund to address the problem which will be eaten up by “administrative costs”.
A place to park, sanitation considerations and water need to be provided. If cities would provide the space and simple facilities, those in the homeless group who would be more likely to commit property crimes might have less reason to do so. But, that means actualy inviting the homeless to live more closely among us – which few are wiling to do.