By Bill Rosendahl
We are making progress on a groundbreaking program to deal with the issue of people living in their vehicles in Council District 11.
As many of you know, city agencies and I have been working very hard to develop a comprehensive strategy to come up with a solution that balances restricted parking and law enforcement with social services for those who need them.
Last month, the City Council approved amendments to an ordinance that will make it easier to restrict oversized vehicles from parking on our streets overnight. At the same time, I have been working to create a Safe Parking program, which would create designated areas where economically disadvantaged people living in vehicles could sleep lawfully, obtain counseling and social services, and begin the transition to permanent housing.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the City-County agency charged with administering the program, has prepared a draft Request for Proposals (RFP), a legal document that solicits bids from social service providers to run the program. The RFP provides a broad framework and foundation for the program; more specific details will be worked out with the community once LAHSA selects a service provider.
LAHSA will formally release the final RFP next month, select a provider in early fall, and launch the program before the end of the year. In the meantime, I wanted to circulate the draft RFP and ask for your feedback. I have also asked my staff to prepare, in consultation with LAHSA, a PowerPoint presentation, summarizing how the program was developed and highlighting some of its key elements.
This proposed program is the result of months of collaborative effort by hundreds of people. This is s smart and cutting-edge program that builds on the successes of similar programs in other cities, and improves and tailors them for our community. I hope to launch the program before the end of the year, concurrently with the implementation of the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance.
In a few weeks, I will be holding a Town Hall meeting to thoroughly discuss the program. Prior to that, key members of my staff are available for meetings and briefings in smaller groups. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and feedback.
Bill Rosendahl is the L.A. City Councilmember whose district includes Venice.