Welcome to the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH) Newsetter
View this email in your browser

    November 2017 

President's Message
We call them “homeless” people and we work to find them “housing.”  It occurs to me that we may have that backwards.  Perhaps a better way to think of it is to call them “houseless” people and work to find them “homes.”  PPTFH has “housed” over 53 people in the last 21 months.  What we hadn’t really understood before is that Glanda and Maureen, our outreach team, have had to spend half their time as case managers (supporting the “housed” as they make the transition from months or years living outdoors to living in an apartment) and the other half walking our streets to engage the homeless.  A recent grant now allows The People Concern to employ a case manager to work with the “housed” on a regular basis to support their adjustment and help them create a sense of “home.” This frees up Glanda and Maureen to spend more time working in the Palisades.  Even more important, it is helping us understand what “Permanent Supportive Housing” is all about.
Sometimes the apartments found for our formerly homeless people have nothing more than a mattress. PPTFH is making more of an effort to provide furniture and other items needed to have a “home.”  But items alone don’t create a home. Feeling part of a community creates a home.  Feeling self-worth creates a home.  Finding housing is a worthy goal, but we would do well to expand our thinking to include ways of helping “houseless” people create “homes.”
Is this topic interesting to you?  We invite your suggestions.  What homeless-related topic would you like covered at one of our community meetings? Send email to pacpalihtf@gmail.com.

Doug McCormick
President, PPTFH

Outreach Team Update
It sometimes feels like we are repeating ourselves when we review the latest outreach outcomes chart, but the fact is that PPTFH continues to make good progress in housing our “resident” homeless people. By “resident” we mean individuals who have lived in the Palisades on a regular basis over a period of years and are not just passing through our community. The progress is not what we might think of as fast, but it is steady, and the needle is moving in the right direction.

This latest September chart shows that we are now down to 73 “resident” homeless individuals who are “engaged” with our Outreach Team. Of that number, 53 or 73% are now off the streets in either transitional or permanent supportive housing. This is to be celebrated!

We also celebrate that the 2017 Annual Point-In-Time Count conducted by LASHA (Los Angeles Housing and Services Authority) found that Pacific Palisades is the only community in the Los Angeles area where there was a reduction (50%) in the number of homeless people and encampments.

Finally, we celebrate that some of the homeless people who have moved from our streets to permanent supportive housing are beginning to succeed in their new homes and environments. This is the real reward. Some of these folks now live in Pasadena and even Lancaster. We will hear from three of these individuals at our November 13 community meeting at the Palisades Public Library. (See the “Save the Date” flyer at the end of this newsletter.) We are so pleased that they want to come and share their stories and “learnings” with us. We hope that you will make time to attend this special meeting to support them, and together we can celebrate their and our success
Sharon Browning
PPTFH Vice President
Chair, Outreach Oversight Committee
The CLEANup Club: Lessons from Temescal Canyon
PPTFH’s third CLEANup Day, October 14, was the most productive yet, with debris from 20 abandoned encampments cleared from lower Temescal Canyon.  Last May, when our enforcement team, partnering with our outreach workers and LAPD, moved the last long-term homeless people from the Via bluffs and the slopes of lower Temescal Canyon Road, the cleanup process began.
The third CLEANup Day, October 14, was the most—er—sweeping yet, with debris from 20 encampments cleared from lower Temescal. After four hours with shovels and rakes, sweating and grimy, teams of PPTFH volunteers stopped only when they had filled the city’s 40-foot-long rolling dumpster to the top.
As I scanned the list of 30 workers, I was struck by the range of Palisadians and friends represented:  dads, couples, environmentalists, an editor, a City Council deputy, Rec and Parks workers, Rusty and Inez from our LAPD beach patrol, and a homeowners association officer from Santa Monica Canyon. Ages ranged from 27 to nearly 80.
Partway down the list I saw a volunteer with a Pasadena address, Bert Muto. I was surprised, and asked around. In 2016, Albert Angelo (Bert) Muto wanted to live in Santa Monica, but the rents were rising faster than he could keep up. A tent on the beach was too dangerous, even when he moved to Will Rogers State Beach. Cops who came by to enforce the beach curfew suggested he go up into the bluffs. But Bert was wary. After 12 years in prison he knew the drug and crime scene among people on the street. For a while, Bert moved farther up the beach. He took odd jobs. But trying to keep himself fed, groomed, and in clean clothes took almost a day’s work by itself. He found he could sleep more safely at the Palisades Rec Center.
In the spring of 2016, Bert met Palisades businessman Brian Shea, who introduced him to Maryam Zar, then Chair of PPTFH. Bert was ready for what PPTFH had to offer. He currently rents rooms in Pasadena and operates a handyman/yard service with his SUV. He checks in regularly with Bianca Smith, his employment specialist at Chrysalis.
Bert noticed the October 14 CLEANup online under “volunteer opportunities.” That day he arrived with his shiny electric hedge trimmer and went to work. Here was a guy who drove across town on a Saturday morning to give his time away for free because he knew he could help. His presence reminded me that, for all of us, membership in the human club is confirmed when we know we are of use.
As the workers came back from the hillsides with stories of what they had seen and smelled, they were smiling. “Call us for the next one,” they said. That day we were all members of the helping club. Meeting Bert reminded me of the reason it feels so good. There’s hope, folks! And, yes, several more CLEANups are planned.
Nina Kidd
PPTFH Communications Committee

Official Homeless Count Results: 2017
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) recently reconfirmed a 23% increase of homelessness in LA County in 2017 over 2016. This means that 57,794 people experienced homelessness in LA County on a given night in January 2017 (compared with the number recorded on a night in January 2016). Of the 2017 total, 42,828 were unsheltered and 14,966 were sheltered.  There was a very abnormal increase of Hispanics (63%); black/African American homeless increased 28%; and whites decreased by 2%.  In East LA County, the increase was 50% and in West LA, 18%.  Fully 80% had lived in LA County more than 5 years.
For Pacific Palisades, the official LAHSA homeless count was 101 individuals. This number includes 23 makeshift shelters, 21 cars, 6 campers, 4 vans, and 9 tents.  These numbers reflect what PPTFH already knew: the number of homeless individuals in Pacific Palisades is down over 50% from the previous two years. This is due to the tremendous coordination and effort of PPTFH in utilizing outreach workers from The People Concern (formerly OPCC), the volunteer enforcement team, LAPD beach patrol, and generous support from the community.
Our aim is to provide services and housing to the homeless – not to push the problem to other neighborhoods.  The numbers prove our success.  Thanks to all of you who have helped PPTFH in its mission to help our homeless people and make our town safer for everyone.
Kim Clary
PPTFH Board Member,
LAHSA Count Site Coordinator
Enforcement Team Update
Our volunteer enforcement team has grown to 11 members. We are pleased to welcome Palisadian Dede Vlietstra and local business manager Carlos Rodriguez to the group.
The enforcement team had a busy summer, with many new homeless folks arriving here. In the month of September the team identified and engaged 72 homeless individuals passing through our town, beaches, and parks. Currently we have identified eight chronic service-resistant homeless individuals who consider the Palisades their home. Our team is constantly encouraging these folks to take services from our partner The People Concern (formerly OPCC).
In September, our LAPD beach patrol gave verbal warnings and offered services to all of the homeless individuals found camping on our beaches and in our parks. We observed the beach patrol issue 25 citations to homeless individuals for various infractions.
The enforcement team recommended that our outreach workers, Glanda and Maureen, have designated days and locations to meet with homeless individuals interested in services. Glanda and Maureen have now set up “office hours” at the following locations and times:
  • Mondays (except the 4th Monday of the month), Temescal and PCH, at the beachside picnic tables, 10–11:15 am.
  • 4th Monday, Palisades Library, 12–1 pm.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, the outreach team has a nurse available for services.
The enforcement committee is thrilled to have this new meet-up program. We feel that it can have a real impact on our community and make a big difference in the lives of these unfortunate individuals.  But it is only the first step in getting them off the streets. The ultimate goal is permanent housing. 
Sharon Kilbride
Chair, Enforcement Committee

Fundraising Update
53 Housed!  Since January 1, 2016, PPTFH has successfully placed 53 formerly homeless individuals into interim housing and stable permanent supportive housing.  These individuals are no longer living on the streets or in the bluffs of the Palisades, and they have been given a chance to start their lives anew.  This remarkable number could not have been reached without the continued financial support of our community.
As we work to increase the number of housed individuals, PPTFH continues to fundraise to cover the cost of move-in expenses, temporary motel vouchers for individuals who are "move-in ready" but waiting for permanent housing, and our encampment cleanup efforts.  Encampment cleanups serve to safeguard our community from potential fires, keep our community clean, and deter other homeless individuals from setting up encampments in these areas.
To continue this work, PPTFH not only needs your financial support but also your time and skills.  The Fundraising Committee is looking for volunteers interested in assisting with writing grant proposals to various foundations and organizations.  No prior grant writing experience is necessary.  If you are a good writer and have a passion for the work we are doing, please contact us to get involved. You can send email to Barbara Overland, chair of the Fundraising Committee, at bcoverland@yahoo.com.
PPTFH is hoping to be able to provide an opportunity in December where children can decorate holiday cards to be delivered to our 53 housed individuals.  This will be a wonderful token of holiday cheer and support from our community to these individuals who are settling into their new homes. Stay tuned for more information.
As always, thank you for your continued support. With additional community involvement, we can work towards moving even more individuals from the streets into housing.
Courtney Graff
Fundraising Committee and PPTFH Board Member
Help Us Reach Our Goal!
(We have a new, easy way for you to donate online -- as few or as many dollars as you wish!)  Check it out.


Copyright © PPTFH, All rights reserved.
President: Doug McCormick; Vice-President: Sharon Browning; Treasurer/Secretary: David Morena

Our email address is:

To reach the Outreach Team of Glanda & Maureen email:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Visit us online at pptfh.org

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness · PO Box 331 · Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp