WeHo Appropriates New Funds to Deal with Eastside Homeless Issues

The West Hollywood City Council last night agreed to shift $500,000 in unused funds to pay for an increase in efforts to deal with petty crimes associated with homeless people on the city’s Eastside.

John D'Amico
John D’Amico

The funding was proposed by Councilmember John D’Amico, who said he was responding to a flurry of complaints by Eastside residents about transient people breaking into their garages, defecating on their sidewalks and stealing things.

Councilmember Lauren Meister suggested the city consider using street outreach teams such as those in Long Beach and Tarzana. West Hollywood currently contracts with People Assisting the Homeless to provide such services. ¬†Councilmember John Heilman said the city should consider providing mobile mental health services. And Mayor Lindsey Horvath said she would like to see a Sheriff’s substation on the Eastside.

City Manager Paul Arevalo said the city staff would come back to the Council with options for using the allocation.

The unused funds are in the city’s budget for Sheriff’s Department services. The city has increased that budget to pay for foot patrols that the local Sheriff’s Station implemented. However the station has had difficulty getting deputies to work overtime to fill the foot patrol positions.

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Justine Habib
6 years ago

Excellent work, Councilmember D’Amico! All good suggestions for the funds, particularly the street outreach teams- seems that would be the most efficient, short-term approach.

dp.freedrick
dp.freedrick
6 years ago

Just to clarify, Councilmember Meister suggested including street outreach teams from Safe Refuge in Long Beach and Tarzana Treatment Center in this initiative as part of this is an addiction problem. These are two substance abuse treatment organizations that the City of West Hollywood already contracts with and they have street teams currently in the City. She is suggesting they increase that outreach and that they collaborate closer with the Sheriffs department.

JJ
JJ
6 years ago

Things are pretty bad on the westside too and we have the Sheriff’s station.

Jeffery
Jeffery
6 years ago

If the City does do a Sub Station on the east side they might consider a permanent MHET Team (mental health emergency technicians) at that location. The Sheriffs, in conjunction with the County Mental Health Services, have trained teams that work throughout the county. Having one permanently located at a sub station on the east side only makes sense!

Christopher Roth
Christopher Roth
6 years ago

Also agree, we need a Sheriff sub-station on the east side. Response times are far to long.

Isa
Isa
6 years ago

Hmmmm. Substation if in Plummer Park should be in the newer section/senior area where it would be VISIBLE from Santa Monica. Seniors are comfortable in cozy areas and this would be the BEST excuse to get our old portion of OUR park upgraded and actually USED. Don’t get me started.

Alison
Alison
6 years ago

Can’t the Sheriff’s Station assign deputies to work foot patrol? Why does it have to be voluntary overtime? We need more deputies assigned for every shift, both in cars and on foot. We definitely need more than 23 (I believe that is the number I read) on patrol at night. The City pays the Sheriff’s Department to cover our City.

I agree with Mayor Horvath. We need a substation on the east side.

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
6 years ago

thank you, John D’Amico!

In terms of allocation I like the suggestions by Meister, Heilman and Horvath equally, maybe we can do all of the above?

In terms of sheriff or outreach/mental health team substation on the east side, let’s not waste a large portion of those funds on rent when we do have an unused building (that happens to be on the National Register of Historic Places) right in the middle of Plummer Park?

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