Welcome to the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH) Newsetter
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March 2019 Newsletter
:In this issue
Past Newsletters
Videos of Past Community Meetings
President’s Message
Ever try to change a habit? It’s difficult. Experts say it takes at least three times performing a new behavior before it becomes “locked in.” So imagine living on the streets for 10 years and then suddenly receiving housing.  More than one of the homeless individuals for whom we found housing have said they slept on the floor the first night.  That's why our outreach team is spending more time “shepherding” our clients who have moved to permanent supportive housing. The need for this extra care is especially important the first few weeks after clients move in and hopefully diminishes over time.
We are so fortunate to partner with The People Concern, which provides our outreach team and the services that back them up. We recently signed a new agreement with The People Concern, and we look forward to many years of working together. As of January 2019, we have helped 104 individuals off Palisades streets and 72 of them into permanent supportive housing.
One of the articles in this issue describes the inspiring new work that Claire Healy and Community United Methodist Church are doing. It’s a great example of a young person—while busy with school—actively helping to solve the problem of homelessness by 1) creating a way for the community to provide items the outreach team needs to help homeless individuals without enabling their homelessness, and 2) educating the community about the issue.
Our next community meeting is on Tuesday, April 2 (not on our usual Monday). It will provide a glimpse into how the criminal justice system can work with homeless individuals, as well as how West Coast Care is reaching out to connect homeless persons with their families. Please join us!
Doug McCormick
President, PPTFH
Outreach Update
The People Concern Pacific Palisades Outreach Team
January 2016 through January 2019
Homeless Count 2019
LAPD officer Redican and Kim Clary prep volunteers

At 9:30 pm on January 23, 50 volunteers braved the cold and wind to count our homeless neighbors dwelling outdoors. Volunteers arrived at the Corpus Christi meeting point at 8:00 pm to register, get their team assignments, watch a training video, and have some nourishing soup before starting out. For the next three hours, 10 teams covered by car and by foot the 6 census tracts comprising Pacific Palisades.
This is the fourth year that PPTFH has hosted The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count in our community. It is sponsored by LAHSA, the joint city-county authority for homeless services. An annual homeless count takes place across the nation in January, and the Los Angeles count is the largest in the country, utilizing 8,000 volunteers. The data collected each year are used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies to apportion resources for homeless services and housing. 
In the past, due to the rough terrain on our bluffs and hillsides, the Palisades count was held  in early morning daylight, as the area is difficult to traverse in the dark. However, because of the work of PPTFH and its outreach team, the hillsides have largely been abandoned by homeless individuals, and most of the former occupants are now receiving services and housing. The absence of hillside encampments made it possible to canvass those areas in the dark this year.
We turned over the data from this year’s Palisades count to LAHSA, which will publish the results in June. LAHSA totals the individuals, tents, encampments, and vehicles, and uses a formula to come up with a regional total of homeless individuals. According to LAHSA data, the number of homeless individuals in the Palisades decreased by 50% from 2015 to 2018. The 2019 count will show fewer homeless individuals, tents, and encampments and more people living in their vehicles.
The count could not have been successful without the dedicated and conscientious volunteers who spent their evening in this effort. We thank you for providing a valuable service to the community and our homeless individuals
Kim Clary
LAHSA Site Coordinator
PPTFH Board Member
Finding One Piece of the Housing Puzzle
Dr. Scott Sale
Carl, sharing his experience with Safe Parking LA
Last year’s official homeless count reported about 52,765 homeless individuals in the city and county of Los Angeles; about 15,700 of them lived in vehicles. Since 2016, 37% of all homeless individuals served by PPTFH’s outreach team who were “voucher-ready” waited one month to two years for housing—meanwhile living on the street or in interim facilities—due to the lack of suitable affordable housing. Though housing development is not part of PPTFH’s mission, we have to face the fact that for our continued success, we need to better understand Los Angeles’ housing problem and its implications for our work.
At PPTFH’s January 28 community meeting, Dr. Scott Sale, Executive Director of Safe Parking LA, discussed Los Angeles’ program for providing overnight vehicle housing in protected parking lots. For over 15 years, Safe Parking has been a strategy for addressing homelessness in Southern California. Santa Barbara has 28 lots with 123 spaces, and San Diego has two lots with 50 spaces. The Los Angeles program began in June 2017, has seven lots with a total of 130 spaces and more lots are in development.
Safe Parking is a transitional program that provides a maximum of 6 months’, nighttime-only refuge. It serves families, college students, single women, veterans, and the working poor. Clients are primarily capable, motivated individuals who, for various reasons, have fallen on hard times. (These individuals are considered the easiest to help among all those experiencing homelessness.) All clients are subject to a two-step screening process that involves an application and interview. Each is required to provide proof of vehicle license, registration, and insurance; and each is required to be connected to a social service provider who will work to move them into permanent housing. Single men are subject to background checks.
Regulations require no guns, drugs, alcohol, or smoking; no camping, cooking, or flames; and quiet between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. Vehicles must vacate the premises by 7:00 am. Per signed agreement, clients can be immediately evicted and towed for noncompliance. Recreational vehicles are not allowed because the occupants often want to remain housed in their RV’s and are not as inclined to work toward permanent housing.
Safe Parking lots can be owned publicly (federal, county, city) or privately. Each lot is provided with $1–$2 million in insurance, unarmed security while clients are present, restrooms and wash basins, and a $500 monthly stipend for private lot owners. LAMC 1848.36 makes it legal for any building or lot to serve as a cold weather shelter for 365 days.
Dr. Sale provided considerable food for thought. The scale of Safe Parking isn’t large enough to solve Los Angeles’ affordable housing problem. However, it does provide a safe, low-risk, highly manageable model for communities to consider to make limited space available for people experiencing homelessness and to solve a small part of the housing puzzle.
Sharon Browning
PPTFH Vice President
A Girl Scout Reaches Out
Claire Healy leading homelessness workshop
A Palisades high school student's interest in the work and goals of PPTFH is producing tangible benefits, including a program for collecting in-kind donations and an educational workshop on homelessness.
In her final year as a Girl Scout, pursuing the organization’s Gold Award, Pali High senior Claire Healy sought a project that would produce sustainable benefit to her community and also have an educational component.
Claire recognized that assisting the transition from homelessness into housing is a pressing issue of our time, and began researching what she could do. Discussions with PPTFH led to a plan of action that also involved the Community United Methodist Church (CUMC) of Pacific Palisades. In a fortunate coincidence, Reverend Dr. Wayne Walters of CUMC had been exploring opportunities to expand the church’s service in the community.
Learning that PPTFH’s outreach team needed a convenient access point for hygiene kits, sleeping bags, blankets, and other items for clients, Claire arranged with CUMC for PPTFH to use a CUMC storage room with outside access for the outreach team. Claire also set up an online program through SignUpGenius.com that informs potential donors what specific items are needed and enables them to sign up for what they can provide. The link to SignUpGenius.com is https://tinyurl.com/yyndqljq
On February 10, Claire led a workshop at CUMC, open to the public, where she introduced the donation program and signup link. Her PowerPoint presentation covered the basic issues and challenges of homelessness, and offered guidance to organizations on how they can help. Workshop attendees assembled 39 hygiene kits and created 50 handmade cards of encouragement for PPTFH outreach workers to share with their clients. PPTFH Board of Directors member Kim Clary, President Doug McCormick, and outreach worker Glanda Sherman participated in the workshop and answered questions.
Patrick Healy
Guest contributor
Enforcement Coordination Update
RVs lined up along PCH
Rusty Redican with Janet Turner
In the Palisades part of PCH under LAPD’s jurisdiction—Santa Monica Canyon to Coastline Drive—PPTFH’s law enforcement coordination committee observed a total of 348 parked car dwellers during the year 2018. PPTFH offered services to the individuals living in these vehicles, and LAPD beach patrol officers Redican and Soliman later warned individuals that they would be cited if they did not remove their vehicles from the posted No Parking Overnight zones.
The part of PCH just north of the Coastline Drive has seen a sharp increase in vehicle dwellers. Because of jurisdictional issues, solutions such as services and citations are not currently available for these individuals. This “no-man’s land” runs from the Coastline Drive border of Pacific Palisades to the southern border of Malibu at Topanga Canyon Blvd. It is unincorporated County of Los Angeles territory and falls outside LAPD or Malibu city control. The California Highway Patrol is responsible for this stretch of PCH.
The Coastal Commission has denied the county a blanket No-Parking Overnight ordinance in this area.  County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office is working on a less restrictive ordinance that would prohibit parking between midnight and 2:00 am on one side of PCH and 2:00 am–4:00 am on the other side. Stephanie Cohen, Supervisor Kuehl’s West/Metro LA District Director, is leading the effort. The ordinance must be approved by the County Planning Commission and by the Board of Supervisors. It will then go back to the Coastal Commission for approval before signs can be posted. For updates on the proposed ordinance, email Stephanie Cohen at scohen@bos.lacounty.gov
At the January 28 PPTFH community meeting, LAPD beach patrol officer John “Rusty” Redican received a certificate of Congressional recognition from Janet Turner of Congressman’s Ted Lieu’s office. The certificate cited Redican’s remarkable commitment and tireless efforts working with the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness. We on PPTFH’s law-enforcement coordination committee salute our partner Rusty for this achievement!
Sharon Kilbride
Chair, Law Enforcement Coordination Committee
Funding Partner Profile: Parish of St. Matthew
The Parish of Saint Matthew
The Parish of St. Matthew has been a PPTFH supporter since our inception in 2016, having contributed $10,000 annually through The People Concern. It is one of our long-term Funding Partners.
We recently talked with Jocelyn Cortese, volunteer grant coordinator of St. Matthew’s Outreach Commission, about the parish’s philanthropic efforts. She said that St. Matthew tries to effect relief and change by being a model for other funders as “the net that lifts.” The parish has an annual outreach budget of $300,000. The funds come from proceeds of Thrift Shop sales, the Christmas Faire, proceeds from the Sunday collection plate, and 5%–6% of the parish’s operating budget. Jocelyn described how St. Matthew determines the recipients of its outreach grants. Following are a few of the criteria an organization must meet to be considered as an ongoing Funding Partner:
  • Nonprofit status as a 501 (c)(3) corporation in good standing
  • Excellence in its field, focus on outreach, financial transparency
  • Compatibility with the parish’s mission of helping members live the Gospel
  • Local involvement, with parish members interested in a long-term relationship
  • Significance of funds in aiding the organization’s long-term viability without being its sole support
The parish’s annual outreach grants are distributed among about 15 entities. Besides PPTFH, recipients include Westside Food Bank, St. Joseph Center, Angel Interfaith Network, Global Aid Interfaith Network, and Chrysalis.
Jocelyn added that parishioners also engage in direct, hands-on outreach. For PPTFH, some parishioners gather weekly with members of the local Methodist and Catholic churches to make sack lunches that our outreach workers, Glanda and Jessi, distribute to clients. 
Helping the most vulnerable people who live on the streets in the Palisades is time-intensive and costly. We are grateful for the Parish of St. Matthew’s continued commitment of resources that enable us to offer compassionate solutions to these individuals.
Pat Lorne
PPTFH Fundraising Committee Member
Community Meeting April 2


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President: Doug McCormick; Vice-President: Sharon Browning; Treasurer/Secretary: David Morena

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Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness · PO Box 331 · Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 · USA

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