August 31, 2022
I wanted to share one story from our work today – about a woman named Beth.* My team met Beth in May while they were speaking to people living in campers & RVs in the district. Beth was a senior, and had serious long term medical issues.
Beth told us that she had been homeless for a long time. After losing her apartment many years prior when the rent became too high for her, Beth moved from hotel to hotel. She described roach infested rooms, for which she paid far too much money per night.
After much searching, she finally found a low priced room for rent in a home. But that situation quickly became unsafe for her: the landlord refused to give her a key, and insisted on controlling her movements, sometimes leaving her outdoors in the extreme heat for hours waiting for him to allow her back in.
Finally, she found an online listing for what seemed to be the only affordable and safe solution for her: the camper van we met her in. The owner of the van charged her $500 / month, for a decrepit van with no electricity or water hook-ups. She was forced to rely on a nearby library to use the restroom. Despite living in nearly uninhabitable conditions, Beth felt like the van was the only thing that prevented her from living in a tent on the street, something she desperately wanted to avoid.
The owner of the camper van had warned her against seeking out help for herself, but by the time we knocked on her door, Beth felt real urgency to find a better housing situation. Luckily, we were able to connect her with Ben, Tara, and Jose, case managers with Ascencia, one of the agencies that our office contracts with to help people transition back into housing. It took a few weeks, but with their support, Beth was able to find a shared room in an apartment that was within her budget.
When her case managers and my team arrived to help her on her move-in day, she shouted with joy: “I’m moving today!”
Now settled into her new home, Beth has put her love of cooking to good use and regularly cooks for her roommates. She has also continued her volunteer work with her church, preparing food to serve to unhoused residents in a nearby park each Sunday.
I often talk about how we need a person-centered approach to homelessness in Los Angeles. Beth’s story illustrates what that means in practice: it means meeting individuals experiencing homelessness where they are. It means working with them to find solutions that ensure that they can move indoors sustainably, not just move to another sidewalk.
Wishing you a week and holiday weekend similar to Beth’s — filled with good food and time spent with your community.
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE!
*name changed for privacy purposes
ADVOCATING FOR EXPANDING MENTAL AND LONG-TERM HEALTHCARE FOR LOW-INCOME AND UNHOUSED ANGELENOS
NEXT STEPS ON PRIORITIZING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN RESOURCE-RICH AREAS
LA is one of the most segregated cities in America, and our affordability crisis is making it even worse — a reality that persists and is reinforced by more subtle forms of exclusion, including through our zoning codes. My motion, and the adoption of the recommendations in the report from the Planning Department, is a critical step in reversing these historical wrongs.
SUPPORTING EQUITABLE SPENDING OF CITY DOLLARS ON GOODS & SERVICES
Earlier this year, Council adopted my motion to create a permanent Office of Procurement for the City of LA, to bring greater transparency, strategy, and accountability to the City’s contracting with goods and service providers. This executive order lays the groundwork for increased participation and access for the more than 43% of women-owned and 27% BIPOC-owned small businesses, ensuring they are given more resources, support, and outreach from the City in our future procurement.
MEETING COUNCIL DISTRICT 4’S YOUTH COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
Harley and Giordana are two bright UCLA students that both hail from and currently live in the Valley. They shared the various factors that led them to apply, such as Giordana’s recent campaign experience and Harley’s volunteer coordination efforts, as well as the issues they’re looking forward to delving into as a part of the year-long Youth Council curriculum. I’m inspired to see such driven, engaged young leaders being brought into the City’s governing process — and I look forward to working with them and the rest of the Youth Council to ensure their voices are centered in shaping the future of LA.
GRIFFITH PARK SAFETY MOBILITY PLAN OPEN HOUSE | SEPTEMBER 8 @ 6:30 to 8:30 PM | MORE INFO & RSVP
Join Council District 4, the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Griffith Park Advisory Board, the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, and the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council for a presentation on the latest work in the ongoing study, with a viewing of presentation boards and staff Q&A! The updated presentation, slides, and form for comment submission will be made available online and shared in our newsletter following the Open House.
To RSVP for the Open House, click HERE.
To submit comments or questions about the study, please contact the Department of Recreation & Parks directly at: (323) 661-9465 or [email protected]
STUDIO CITY HISPANIC HERITAGE MOVIE NIGHT | SEPTEMBER 10 @ 5:30 PM to 10 PM
Join us for food, music, and a movie in the park to celebrate the start of Hispanic Heritage Month! Come by the Studio City Recreation Center (12621 Rye St) from 5:30 to 7:30 PM on September 10 to meet your neighbors and have a taco, and set up your blankets and chairs for the 7:30 screening of Disney’s Encanto.
ZOO VISION PLAN — NEW PUBLIC MEETING & COMMENT EXTENSION | SEPTEMBER 12 @ 6 PM | MORE INFO
In July, after our office asked the LA Zoo to listen, engage, and reflect on the feedback shared in response to its proposed Vision Plan for the future of its facilities, the Zoo released its revised plan – Alternative 1.5, or the California Focused Conservation Alternative.
With an initial round of feedback and public presentation in August, the Zoo has extended public review to Friday, September 23, at 5 PM.
Comments may be submitted either in writing to the Bureau of Engineering or verbally at a second virtual public meeting on Monday, September 12 at 6 PM. You can see more on how to submit written comment and join the meeting at the link HERE.
Full information on the Zoo's Vision Plan Alternative 1.5 can be found on the Zoo’s website HERE.
CD4 WILDFIRE SAFETY FAIR | SEPTEMBER 17 @ 10 AM to 1:30 PM | MORE INFO & RSVP
Join our office, the Los Angeles Fire Department, LADWP, and MySafe LA for a Wildfire Safety Fair, with food, music, and activities for all ages on Saturday, September 17 from 10 AM to 1:30 PM. Participants will be able to hop from booth to booth to learn about wildfire safety and preparedness and gather stamps for their ‘Safety Passports’ — prizes will be given to those who get all stamps! For more information and to RSVP, click HERE.
MORE UPCOMING EVENTS
Valley of Change Sherman Oaks Community Cleanup | September 11 @ 8:30-10 AM | More Info
Franklin Hills Residents’ Association + CD4 Stair Cleanup | September 11 @ 9-11 AM
Los Feliz Neighborhood Council Community Cleanups | 1st Saturday and 3rd Sunday of every month | More Info
STUDENT LOAN DEBT RELIEF IS AVAILABLE!
If your income data is with the U.S. Department of Education, you will receive relief automatically if you are eligible. If the U.S. Department of Education does not have your income data, you can fill out an application that will soon be available. For more information on the plan, click HERE.
SIGN UP FOR FLEX ALERTS, DO YOUR PART TO CONSERVE POWER
HOT WEATHER IS STILL HERE — HOW TO STAY HEALTHY
A heat advisory is in effect this week! Make sure you and your neighbors stay healthy and cool by staying inside during peak hours.
Other ways to stay healthy in the heat:
For more information on how to beat the heat, visit the Emergency Management Department’s website HERE.
Services + Resources