Homeless persons in Los Angeles could soon be banned from sitting, lying or sleeping in and around certain buildings and specific locations in the city if a proposed ordinance is approved by the city council.
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell is pushing the ordinance to ban homeless camping in certain areas of the city, including within 10 feet of a driveway or building entrance, within 500 feet of a daycare center, park or school, as well as on bike paths, bridges, pedestrian subways and tunnels and within 500 feet of a newly established homeless shelter. The ban would also apply on busy public sidewalks or near large venues.
“It’s certainly better than we have now and I think we’re heading in the right direction with this,” O’Farrell told ABC7.
Current Los Angeles vagrancy laws ban sitting, lying or sleeping on any public sidewalks, but are rarely enforced.
Homeless advocates say the new ordinance would not fix the growing homeless problem, but instead push the homeless away from the public assistance they need, according to Jed Parriott of the Services Not Sweeps Coalition.
“Blame the politicians for allowing this to happen, for their policies, lack of rent control, destruction of public housing while they allow hotels to go up everywhere,” Parriott told ABC7.
The proposed ordinance still needs the approval of the city council. If passed, it could be come law in four to six weeks, O’Farrell told ABC7.
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