Opinion: Why Do We Hate West Hollywood’s Homeless?

Late one morning I was sitting in Joey’s, my favorite WeHo diner, waiting for Pedro to deliver the huevos rancheros to my table. The door opened and in walked a disheveled man, his face dirty, the scruff on his face not as neatly groomed as that of WeHo’s stylish gay men. He was carrying a blanket over his shoulder.

“I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to leave,” said one of the staff members.

“But I want to buy a cup of coffee,” the man said, putting an emphasis on the word “buy.”

“I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to leave,” the staffer repeated, stepping forward to escort the man out the door.

It happened quickly, and at first I felt ashamed for not having stepped forward and offered to buy the man a cup of coffee myself. But then I realized that being able to pay for the coffee wasn’t the issue. The issue was that my favorite diner didn’t want a man who looked to be homeless inside its door.

That happened about two years ago, when there were modest rumbles about homeless people on the streets of West Hollywood. Now those rumbles have become a roar.

That roar became even louder last month when an apparently homeless man attacked another man with a hatchet at the 7-Eleven convenience store on Santa Monica Boulevard at Havenhurst. The hatchet attack was even more upsetting because the man who was attacked apparently had offered to buy food for the hatchet carrier as he was trying to steal it from 7-Eleven.

The man with the hatchet had been filmed earlier driving a red car and at one point apparently had lived in an apartment in West Hollywood. He had a long criminal record in Riverside County yet once was one of those people who, like most of us, could afford a car and, apparently, an apartment in West Hollywood.

Rick Watts offering a Christmas meal to Susan. (Photo by James Mills)

Since that attack WeHo residents have demanded the city act more forcefully, with some calling for homeless people to be rounded up and carried away and others calling for seizure of their limited belongings, typically stored in shopping carts or black plastic trash bags.

The uproar has gotten over-the-top dramatic. Someone reading comments on WEHOville or attending city government meetings might be left with the impression that there are hundreds of homeless people in our little town, happily defecating on our sidewalks, busting through our front yard fences, shouting threats and obscenities and littering our sidewalks by sleeping on them. One especially dramatic local resident claims the sidewalks on Santa Monica Boulevard from San Vicente to Doheny are “black” because of homeless people. That’s in sharp contrast, he says, to the gleaming white sidewalks of adjacent Beverly Hills.

Two of our supposedly progressive City Council members, John D’Amico and John Duran, recently advocated sweeping the homeless off our sidewalks and taking away their belongings. “They say a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. Well I’m feeling like West Hollywood is about to tilt to be less compassionate if we don’t figure out ways to intervene,” said Duran, who pushed for removing the shopping carts in which the homeless keep their belongings. D’Amico took a shot at what he called “progressive liberals … eating lunch at Kitchen 24” that might give money to homeless people and attract more of them here.

There’s no question that some of what West Hollywood residents complain about is happening. Readers have sent WEHOville a couple of photos of people defecating or urinating on sidewalks. Personally, I have seen only dogs defecating and urinating on WeHo’s sidewalks — a daily occurrence — and their “guardians” don’t always clean that up. (And where would you defecate when you don’t have access to a toilet?) There are claims that our sidewalks reek of urine, which are made by people who apparently have never been in Manhattan in hot and humid August. (I must confess, as an ex-New Yorker, I don’t smell urine anywhere in West Hollywood outside my bathroom.)

There have been some, but relatively few, incidents of actual physical violence by homeless people. However, other than the hatchet incident, the really dramatic attacks in and around West Hollywood have come from affluent people killing their girlfriends and boyfriends and themselves. And then there are the weekly armed robberies, where the crooks, apparently strangers driving from out of town, get away with a cell phone or wallet.  Finally, it is true that most if not all of the homeless on our streets aren’t well-groomed, aren’t wearing well-pressed and clean clothes and neatly shined shoes and clearly haven’t had their makeup done.

So what is our real problem with homeless people on the sidewalks of West Hollywood?

Is it that we, residents of what we brag is an incredibly progressive city, are upset because we see homeless people suffering, some apparently from a mental illness, others from addiction, and all from poverty?

Or are we upset because we don’t like to look at them with their dirty hair and shoeless feet and shopping carts packed with garbage bags full of what they see as something of value and we see as only trash?

Sadly, I’d say it’s the latter. That’s based on what I hear from most of those West Hollywood residents (and two of the City Council members) who speak out about homelessness. My belief is reinforced by a study titled “Discrimination and well-being amongst the homeless,” published in 2015 in “Frontiers in Psychology,” a journal of peer-reviewed research, that explains why we humans act like we do.

“ … Despite the fact that individuals who are homeless are perceived as struggling and in need of care and compassion … , there is also evidence that homeless individuals are not perceived as fully human … ,” the study says.

A homeless woman walking on Doheny Drive in West Hollywood.

“Research has shown that homeless people as a group are seen as neither competent nor warm, and thus form ‘the lowest of the low’ …. This elicits the worst kind of prejudice – disgust and contempt – and can make people functionally equivalent to objects … . This further enhances the perceived legitimacy of negative treatment against the homeless and, in turn, further compromises an individual’s ability to cope with discrimination.”

As someone who struggled to come to terms with his own homosexuality in North Carolina in the 1960s and 1970s, that description of how homeless people are viewed brings up painful memories of how LGBT people and black people were viewed in the city I grew up in. Fayetteville did a thorough job of hiding the gays and segregating the blacks (the Sears “Bathroom for Colored Ladies” and forcing black people to sit only on the movie theater balcony to cite two examples.)

So, am I saying that West Hollywood should just welcome more homeless people to our sidewalks? Of course not. I am saying that this  is an incredibly complex county-wide issue that cannot be solved by WeHo alone, and that kicking people off the sidewalk and making them even more uncomfortable while here is not a solution.

The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station already are working with independent service providers to do what they can. We have chronicled some of those efforts, such as the walks through WeHo by the LA LGBT Center’s Jake Weinraub to deliver granola bars, condoms, water and socks to homeless people and help connect them to services. Then there’s the work down by WeHo residents Rick Watts and Lee Walkup to deliver meals to the homeless at Christmas. But there’s more that we, the residents of West Hollywood, can do. We can push for public toilets and hand-washing stations, proven to be the best defense against the spread of Hepatitis A (a disease that rich and Republican Orange County will be dealing with soon now that it has removed such facilities.) We can push for regular tours of the Lava Mae bus that roams Los Angeles to provide showers to the homeless there, just as AHF’s van provides free HIV tests to gay men on WeHo’s Santa Monica Boulevard on weekend nights. Maybe we also can find a way to lure to WeHo the sort of laundry truck that serves the homeless in Denver or the mobile barber shop that does the same in Brisbane, Australia.

We also can learn how to interact with the people who live and sleep on our sidewalks so that we can welcome them back into society. There are risks in dealing with people who are mentally ill, whether they are homeless or a member of your family. But there are ways to do that smartly and safely that are described by Craig Mayes, CEO of the New York City Rescue Mission in an article you can find here.

Finally, those who view the homeless with prejudice and disgust should think about the principles upon which West Hollywood was founded. If those principles of acceptance and support aren’t something you feel comfortable with, well, I hear there’s lots of real estate for sale in Beverly Hills (whose sidewalks are said to be “whiter” than those of West Hollywood if that’s what matters to you.)

  1. With your misguided liberal guilt you, the writer, are the problem. Get them off the steeets is right or Lise your 3000 a month apartment to being in a ghetto

  2. I do not hate homeless, but after years it is affecting my mental health. What do you became when you walk down the street and You are surrounded by crazy people screaming sit in each block at both sides of the street? Or when you wake up at 2am night after night? Even with a 6 weeks baby in his crib. You became one of them and start cultivating intolerance for them. Suddenly you discover your self screening or being agresive with them and no homeless people. That’s the point where you loose compasión.

  3. For The Record: I have lived in Los Angeles for 30 years and lived and owned property in Weho for 20 years. I have seen the changes just like everyone else. I have a great deal of experience helping the homeless. After six years in the Army, I got my Masters in Sociology. I began working with the homeless in College in Detroit, my hometown. No matter what City it is, there is always a group of people who “blame” the homeless instead of having compassion for them. They also refuse to help them. I’m 52 years old. I have spend more than half of my life working (volunteering) to help the homeless. My Partner of 16 years is a Nurse Practitioner who goes with me often to visit skid row. If he determines any of them need medical attention, we get it for them. WEHO has all the money it needs to act on the homeless issues AND continue with all the social events so there is no choices to be made. It’s just a matter of someone doing the right thing. Heck, I don’t even mind paying more property taxes if it means helping the homeless.

  4. You are right that it is not the city that it was, but things change and if the community refuses to adapt to the changes and create ways to deal with the negative changes then we end up where we are right now. I have always said that WEHO Sheriff’s Department should have a undercover drug unit made up of very young officers to infiltrate the drug culture in WEHO to put a stop to the flow of drugs. I have also said that WEHO should build a facility to take the homeless as a place for transition to the places that can get them the help they need. But, instead, one of our Council members is going to Las Vegas with tampons and aspirins. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. yesterday, I saw a guy laying on the sidewalk near Target, people walked right by him. I pulled over, checked his pulse, he was alive. I was able to awaken him and found out he was a diabetic having a low sugar episode so I called 911 and got him some juice from Starbucks. Things are not always as they appear. Having a closed mind does not allow for ideas for solving problems.

  5. NO ONE HATES THE HOMELESS! We hate the increase in crazed transient junkies aggressively accosting people, screaming at all hours of the night and chopping up people with axes in 7-11. We hate the self-righteous morons that pretend putting a roof over their head is going to stop them from roaming the streets at night. Pretending if you found them a job they would suddenly stop being completely insane. We all have sympathy but until the police start addressing where they are buying their meth and looking the other way when they sleep in the park and sidewalks at night they are not going to get help. There are places for them to go to sleep at night, that is where social workers can find and help them. Not sleeping outside the apartment of every small time drug dealer on grindr.

  6. Erik –

    You painted many of us with a broad stroke, decreeing us “haters” or lacking compassion. Other than our comments, you haven’t a clue of who we are and certainly cannot see into our hearts. My resume – professional & personal – speaks for itself, but you’ll never see it. Unless you’re a mental health professional who conducted thorough assessments upon us, your proclamations about our levels of empathy and compassion are, at best, misguided.

    I’ve lived in WeHo for 30+ years; I’m not leaving. If I dislike the current state of my city, then I need to do something, not move away. I choose to live in a small city with a high percentage of LGBT individuals, and that aint Beverly Hills. Don’t f-ing tell me to move.

    Props: you brought up an outstanding point about mental health issues not allowing one to take advantage of opportunities or forge their own opportunities. Those with severe mental health disorders aren’t capable of serving in the armed forces (you) or going to college, holding down two jobs at a time to succeed (blueeyedboy).

    Our County Dept of Mental Heath is overburdened with clients; it takes weeks, maybe longer, for a medication evaluation with a psychiatrist. By that time, many are long gone and their issues escalate.

    Compounding problem – many with mental illness deny they are sick, and refuse treatment. CA legislature enacted Laura’s Law (2002); LA County voted it in (2014); it needs to be beefed up big time.



    6. WeHo ought to implement a behavioral management system. Psychotic individuals excepted, the homeless are capable of understanding choices and modifying behavior via consequences. No WeHo resident should be harassed or threatened by a homeless person in a building or park of which we paid for (taxes).

    7. West Hollywood needs to make a financial choice:

    I. Continue to fund all the various cultural enrichments, the Halloween Carnaval, Gay Pride, art installations, etc which make our lives enjoyable…


    II. Funnel those funds instead to the City’s Social Services Division in order to, and in concert with WeHo’s Sheriff, and DMH for those with mental health issues, to come up with real solutions that can be implemented.

    I vote for Option II. Let’s find answers!

    Us “haters” shouldn’t have to “…side-step a sprawled out drunk, sleeping in his own filth…living on the sidewalk in front of the car wash…” Harsh Reality’s description was NOT the city I moved into in 1986, and ought not be that city today either.

  7. JV, you have exemplified my comments about the disconnect between the “homeless haters” and the disadvantaged. When I said downtown, I was referring to skid row. I don’t just give blankets. I work with shoe stores to donate shoes and socks for the homeless which we distribute three times a year. I personally have purchased 200 tents for the homeless. I am a regular financial contributor to organizations to help the homeless. I have been doing this for 20 years. During the summer we give out thousands of gallons of cold water to the homeless. We will do it this weekend as the heat get bad. There are a number of people who end up on the streets because of drugs, but there are more who are homeless for other reasons. My positions about the homeless are based upon first hand interaction and not from the comfort of my home. I agree with Hank, if you are not going to help with the problem of homelessness in WEHO in a humane way, there are plenty of houses for sale in Beverly Hills. Also, My name is not spelled with a “Y”

  8. …and you’ll hear a lot of other stories, Eryk, about people who chose to get involved with drugs either because they thought it was cool, or to deal with difficulties that could have been dealt with in a better way. No one is hard-hearted toward the homeless, Eryk. Everyone sympathizes and even fears the thought that they could one day be homeless as well. But we don’t have to overlook how badly some of these people behave in public. Workers bring them free food and what do they do – they toss the remains and the trash on the street instead of walking 20 feet to find a trash can.

    If you really want to make a REAL difference, Eryk, go to Skid Row and, instead of handing out blankets, bring one of the people there back to your house. Let him shower, clean himself, give him a warm meal. Let him use your internet to contact family if he has any. Buy him some clothing from a thrift store. Help him write a resume. Take him around town to look for “Help Wanted” signs in store windows. Get him his own e-mailbox. Let him use your phone # as a resume contact. Loan him your bus pass for the day to go on a job interview.

    I’ve done all of these things because I know that all this other charity work to the homeless – free food, free blankets – does not solve the problem, it perpetuates it. And by the way – the guy who I took into my home went on two job interviews, but ended up calling his mother in Austin, Texas who send him a ticket to return home. And he e-mailed me two months later to thank me for making a difference – more of a difference than a blanket or a donated meal would have made!

  9. Was the “click-bait” headline really needed for this article? I wouldn’t say the majority of residents in this area HATE the homeless. Some might be perturbed if a disheveled man interrupts their dinner or a particular odor, but being bothered at an inopportune time does not equate to hate. Do we hate that people might have little choice to live on the streets, yes, but most of us don’t hate the individuals.

    If you’re not apt to give money, then a simple, “I’m sorry I can’t, good luck to you” or even “sorry, I’m unable, but God bless you” are fine responses that acknowledge that you heard that person.

  10. Compassion is something that is not learned. We are born with it. If you don’t already have it, you never will. So the “homeless haters” will always hate and never understand the issues others have to endure. Come with me downtown when I give blankets out to the homeless for the winter which I do every year. You probably won’t feel compassion, but you will hear the stories from men, women and children who became homeless because (for a myriad of reasons) didn’t have the same opportunities in life as the “haters”.

  11. There is also the issue of criminals w a record that live as homeless to stay off the radar. Now a days it’s difficult to help cause the person you help might end up killing you or beating you up..

  12. Most people don’t “hate” the homeless. They hate what they are doing to the community. Residents and visitors have a right to walk down the street and not have to side-step a sprawled out drunk, sleeping in his own filth. The city and county should absolutely offer options for the homeless, but living on the sidewalk in front of the car wash should not be one of them. End of story.

    Ask any intervention professional (or person with common sense) and they will tell you that unless someone is FORCED to change, they won’t.

  13. Maybe it will take the further spread of Hepatitis? Maybe it will take not being able to use the library at all because of all the bodies that reek and are past out in the chairs or the aggressive attacks by the ones that are awake? Maybe it will take not being able to walk down the sidewalks without having to step into traffic as to not step on a body past out on the sidewalk? Maybe it will take when the smell of urine is not just in certain spots but becomes the only thing you smell as you walk down the boulevard? What will it take for us to take a more of a touch love approach with the out of control homeless situation in the City? Another hatchet attack? The citizens that work hard every day to pay taxes for all the City has to offer and it’s all being ruined by those that can’t get their life together. The last two years the number has risen drastically. What will it take? Some more tough love.

  14. The arrogance and self-righteousness from those who look down on the homeless is sickening. I came from a poor family, I joined the Army at the age of 18 and served for 6 years. The Army paid for two years of my College. I paid for the other four years by working two jobs at night. I served my Country, I worked to get my Education. I did not get a loan and then vote for Uncle Bernie to forgive it. I know what hard work is.

    The “Opportunity” of good mental health which allows people to work two jobs to go to school is very nice, but many people do not have that opportunity. So for people who look down of them, I say, Shame on you.

  15. One of the problems is that some of these homeless people don’t want help or services. They don’t want to get off the street because they don’t want to stop drinking or using drugs. That is their priority in life, not a decent meal or a roof over their heads. That’s the type of homelessness that I resent having to be confronted with.

    I’ve invited homeless people into my home to shower, given them a meal and bought them clothes, so please don’t accuse me of being hard-hearted. But I do resent homeless people who use the public library and cause problems there, disturbing other patrons. And I resent the library policy that won’t kick them out at the first sign of trouble, which lets them know they can push and push and push with their bad behavior and won’t be held accountable because liberal WeHo will bend over backward to accommodate them.

    I’ve been accosted and threatened by some of these homeless people right there in the library. If they’re gonna use the facility, they should be held to high standards of behavior to show their appreciation, since they pay no taxes to support it. And if they’re too mentally ill or too strung-out on drugs, they should be banned from the library, and also banned from the adjacent park. No one has the right to sleep there, spreading out their cache of grubby belongings and setting up shop. They don’t want help, or else they’d be out finding and accepting help.

    1. Thank you, J.V. – I had NO idea that went on in the library. If your portrayal is accurate, it’s unacceptable to this taxpayer that disturbing, accosting and threatening WeHo residents is allowed to occur. Behavior change occurs through: a) knowing what is expected of you; b) being given choices; and consequences (positive and negative) for choices made. We are doing the homeless a disservice (and infuriating the tax paying actual residents of WeHo) by rewarding bad behavior.

      One need not feel sorry for those who have chosen this lifestyle – we have seen commenters below who lacked opportunities yet pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to become productive members of society. Why are the homeless of today being given a free pass at our expense?

      Newsflash: WeHo does have a homeless community center: our state of the art library. Well done, City Council Members. May as well just do away with the books and technology and install cots, showers, provide meals and invite the various nonprofit service providers to set up shop, and watch the door revolve, over and over and over and over…

      Bring back our little county library! (Note to self: do not patronize the library nor donate books to them again.)

  16. Let’s see… the median home value in West Hollywood is over $1M.
    At today’s interest a $1M mortgage gives you a monthly payment of $4728.
    The taxes are about $1000 a month.

    And what does paying $12,000 a year in taxes get you?
    Filthy streets, parks filled with homeless, people urinating, defecating and vomiting in your neighborhood, mentally ill and addicts on drugs approaching you, etc… Even the library smells. Wait til we see what they do with the new park & pool.

    I work hard to live here. It costs me a lot. I do want clean sidewalks. I am not moving.
    Get them to a county shelter. Clean up the streets and protect our investments and our city.

  17. Erik –

    1. Agree, much is about opportunities – eg white privilege, or lack thereof. The playing field isn’t level; hence, affirmative action. Many disenfranchised people are offered free services from nonprofit agencies to assist them in changing their circumstances. You cannot do it for them, you can only offer the hand (not handout) and it’s their choice whether or not to grab that lifeline. I ran a program for incarcerated and post incarcerated youth who came from gang infested hoods, drug addicted and/or incarcerated parents, rampant drug use; since youth are more impressionable and malleable, many of them took the opportunities afforded to them by my agency and others and have completed turned their lives around. Some of these “kids” where the ones Clinton decreed as the super predators, the worst gangbangers being tried as adults in LA County. And now, some are in college, some already have careers, others are working towards professional certifications in a trade, etc. I only have compassion for those who want to help themselves, will take advantage of services offered to them and will work diligently to turn their lives around.

    2. Reagan didn’t mention the word AIDS until 1985. See the link for the history of mental health reform in the US; Reagan was involved, as CA Governor, not President. JFK came up with the idea of county mental health centers. https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2016/12/08/did-the-emptying-of-mental-hospitals-contribute-to-homelessness-here/

  18. Wrong, wrong, wrong Erik! Gov. Pat Brown (Jerry’s dad) passed the legislation to cut funding to state mental hospitals at the end of his term, and as the new incoming Governor, it was left to Reagan to enact that law.

    And as to your comments about opportunities:
    I “took the opportunity” to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to go to college and to work at jobs all through college to afford to stay there.
    I “took the opportunity” to work at scummy jobs after college to work my way up to get to the job I wanted.
    During this time I “took the opportunity” to work at second jobs because my full-time job didn’t pay enough. These second jobs included cleaning toilets.
    Because my student loans were clearly going to take decades to repay at the pace I was going, I “took the opportunity” to work a second full time job to pay them off and I had it done in two years. Yes, I was working 80 hours a week for two years.
    I “took the opportunity” to not become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

    Erik, you are misinformed, and your compassion is misguided.

  19. @Erik: Precisely! West Hollywood leaders should focus on less frivolity and silliness and deal with this. Now THAT would get them the national spotlight.

  20. The arrogance of those who have had opportunities in life that the homeless have not is sickening. It’s all about opportunity. you are where you are in life because you have had opportunities, not because you are better than those who have not had the same opportunities as you. Have some compassion. The city of WEHO should build a facility to take the homeless in to clean up, get medical care and sent to places that can give them the help they need. It all started when Ronald Reagan (who also refused to talk about AIDS for two years) cut the funding to all State mental hospitals and those people where thrown on the street. It was started by a Republican President, but there is no reason we, as a Community can’t deal with it.

  21. Piercntats:
    The way you are treating the people outside your door is the reason they act badly back to and at you. You threw beer cans at them? How civil of you. Is it against the law to sell somebody of legal age alcohol? How is it that you can call the ABC on a store owner for selling a legal beverage?

    1. Joshua, 1. it is illegal to sell alcohol to intoxicated individuals. When I spoke to the ABC, they stated the blood alcohol level of these individuals even early in the am would be at a level indicating intoxication. Had they found such a person on the morning(s) they came to investigate, they would have cited the owner of Vista Mini Mart and it would have been a nightmare for him. 2. I actually buy food for polite, non-intoxicated homeless individuals who are always extremely grateful, and we typically have a nice convo. (Now, after reading all the articles in WeHoVille, these actions are aggravating the problem). Unknowingly I actually bought for food for the hatchet guy the day after the attack – I had no clue what had happened. It was only after I read the reports and saw the pics did I realize it was him. He was the most hostile homeless person ever; but not intoxicated. I am most certainly not the reason they act the way they do, despite what you think. Their actions, in many instances, certainly not all, are a result of a life they have chosen: drugs & alcohol, and refusing treatment to get clean & sober and lead a productive life. Zero respect for self equals zero respect for others. 3. When they choose to violate my property, when they could have walked 30 yards to throw their beer cans out in a trash can, or 3 blocks to a public park to use the restroom, I don’t need to treat them respectfully. (I wasn’t even close enough to them to hit them..they were at one side of the alley and I was at the other.) I was sending them a message: stop littering on someone else’s property. Why do you think it’s ok to allow them to violate private property without consequence?

  22. The so-called inflammatory headline is dead on.
    “Dramatic” is exactly the correct word to describe some of the overwrought comments.

    I have complained about the intolerance endemic to many commenters here. I lived in NYC before moving out west. I lived in Hollywood for twenty-five years before moving to WeHo eight years ago.

    I think we should push for regular tours of the Lava Mae bus or get our own. The biggest problem, in my opinion is body odor. A shower and a clean shirt would work wonders in a private/public space.

  23. We don’t hate the homeless. We want them to pull themselves together and get their life on track. Years ago, homelessness wasn’t an option. You couldn’t loiter. You couldn’t just pass out on a sidewalk and stay there blocking the public access. You couldn’t pitch a tent in a public park and live there. Years ago you had no choice but to get help and pull yourself together or you didn’t survive. Now, being homeless is an option and it’s easy to remain in that situation. And NOW, the homeless are starting to affect the quality of life of those that are trying to keep their lives productive and contribute to paying taxes that pay for everything in the community. And NOW we have a health crisis (hepatitis), and NOW we can’t use our own bus shelters or park. And NOW are streets have the stench of filth and urine. And NOW people are starting to be less empathetic and more about tough love. Big difference between hate and tough love.

  24. So WeHo residents who don’t “accept and support” the homeless are selfish and should sell their homes and buy in Beverly HIlls. Mmmmkay.

  25. Allowing the homeless to live on our streets is the antithesis of compassion. While the problem is complex, picking up the mentally ill, even for the revolving door of 72 hour psych holds, at least grants safer and more samitary conditions than Santa Monica Blvd.

  26. If you want to know where the urine smell comes from, look no further than the 18 inch high pee stain up and down any tree on the Boulevard and the type of absorbent soil that was used when they redid Santa Monica Blvd! lol

  27. I mind constant broken bottles on the sidewalk throughout the city, people breaking into private property and blasting the a/c, trespassing on private property to use the hose to clean themselves and breaking into my neighbors home at 5:10 in the afternoon to name a few issues.

  28. We are not talking Manhattan here , West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Blvd smells like piss from Labrea Ave to Robertson Blvd. and beyond. West Hollywood is a slum.

  29. The problem is most of them don’t want help, and can become/have become combative. I’ve volunteered at the Sheriff’s Dept. and know first-hand that very FEW of these folks want any help. They are mentally ill, and that’s what places our community in danger.
    You want to live in a town where you feel in constant fear for your safety, or for your kids. because they are walking down your street with a bat? or how about when they attack your car at an intersection just because they are high on drugs?
    I am all for helping, but you’ve gotta get real.

  30. “But for the grace of god (or whatever) go I” was the old chestnut we were thrown as gullible children being taught to pity one who was “less fortunate than we”. That catechism was supposed to cover the many emotions we would feel upon viewing a beggar, a homeless person – or homeless family. All authority has been shameless in its treatment of the homeless. Yesterday’s New York Times had a full page on Los Angeles city’s approach to building homes for that sector of our population. I’ll be a hundred years in my grave before anything of import is done. I can see the $1.8 billion appropriation being consumed by studies, staff costs and all the other BS that goes with an endless attempt to discover and implement the “best intentions”. Having once shared a urine-soaked doorway on Charles Street and scrounging for some cash to buy dented cans of food at the railway damage store, people do hate the homeless because they remind them of how close to the edge we all stand. LA could use a section of its major park for an encampment, provide sanitary facilities and water and allow NGOs to service the homeless instead of flapping their guns in endless city council meetings. That goes for every city which is “dealing with the situation”, including WEHO. These remarks come from one who remembers when cities had “poor farms” and “city infirmaries” to house and help the homeless. In those days the effort waas called “charity”, one of the cardinal virtues buried by numbing factor of self-interest.

  31. Does the author still patronize Joey’s? Did the author speak with the owner? Would it be too much to ask to offer water, a basic human essential, via a water receptacle outside on the sidewalk rather than saying no and just stepping over a person?

  32. This seems an inflammatory headline like many of recent note in the race to the bottom for eyeballs. Most folks don’t hate the homeless and many if not most feel compassion for those in our society that are falling through the cracks. This is a collective social responsibility the residents in tandem with those handling our civic affairs. The civic structure from the top down or bottom up is failing its constituents and the problems become exponentially more complicated.

    THE TIME TO REMEDY A SITUATION IS WHEN YOU FIRST NOTICE IT. Those wise words from parents and educators have always proven to be correct. When I personally didn’t heed the advice, the consequences became painfully illuminating.

    West Hollywood has an opportunity to triage the situation with a menu of remedies. Just start working at it. The Sheriff Deputies should take resident reports seriously when one discovers meth addict/homeless in the laundry room of a high profile secure building rather than shrugging their shoulders. Some ideas will fail and others will succeed it can be a trial and error proposition and the point is to GET GOING.

  33. I was sitting on a bench outside the entrance to IHOP recently to catch my breath on a very hot day. A homeless guy started a conversation with me and I was overcome by his body odor. He went inside to get some water, but he was immediately sent back out. In about thirty seconds an employee from inside the restaurant stepped outside to give the homeless guy a big cup of water with ice. It was clear to me his body odor and filth was the reason the management didn’t want him inside, but they still provided him with what he needed. I suspect that Joey’s diner turned away the homeless guy for the same reason, and they probably have had previous unpleasant interactions with the homeless guy who you saw.

  34. “I hear there’s lots of real estate for sale in Beverly Hills”…..In other words, “If you don’t like it then move”…..I’m surprised the author of this opinion piece chose to go there. It discounted everything else he questioned in the body of his op-ed.

    I don’t profile individuals as being homeless as the author and the Sheriffs do. What I see are human beings passed out, sleeping or worse on the sidewalk in the blazing sun. They are routinely ignored by the authorities in our city. That’s not humane or acceptable in anyway, homeless or not.

  35. This liberal, whose career has been in social services, became a conservative when homeless are literally on my doorstep. The ones by my building are mostly alcoholics whose addiction is fueled by the Vista Mini Mart who sells them 40oz beers. Called the ABC over 3 yrs ago; they investigated but never caught the owner selling to them. They litter their beer cans in our trees; worse, they urinate and defecate up against our wall. And no, it is not dogs..dogs don’t sh-t up against a wall at a height of 2ft. I once threw their beer cans back at them, telling them to stop littering on our property, and their response was to physically threaten me. They have no respect for themselves, thus no respect for others. They litter clothing and other items on our property; and we are expected as homeowners to clean up their messes. One somehow gained access to our garage and left a HUGE pile of clothing, sheets, cosmetics, electronics etc behind a car for safekeeping – all of which I discarded. They sleep in our handicap access ramp & hang out drinking on our front steps. They are hostile and act entitled when asked to leave private property. Every 6 months, we file a Letter of Agency with LASD to give them power to enforce the no trespassing ordinance. One got so angry at being told to leave that he sh-t on our front steps. The Fire Dept told me they knew each regular, their drug of choice and that they don’t want help as they refuse to enter programs. They go the ER or jail, sober up, and right back out. This is a systemic societal issue which needs a multi prong approach which will cost $$$.

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