Welcome to the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH) Newsetter
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May 2017 Newsletter

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
 
Many thanks to those who joined us on April 3 to discuss panhandling in the Palisades.  It was wonderful to watch intelligent people coming together to share thoughts in an organized way about a complex problem.  We listened to you and will be sharing with the community what we heard you say.  PPTFH will also be developing a policy based on that discussion, but it looks like the consensus at the meeting favored “real change, not spare change.”

Last month the LA City Council passed a motion to allow shelters to stay open year-round, not just in the winter.  Clearly that is not a long-term solution, but it will be of some help since we definitely have a shortage of housing in the city.

As some of you know, the Beach Patrol that LAPD gave us temporarily--and that has been so successful--is being reassigned to a “Z-car” that will stay in the Palisades.  We hope that the great work Officers Redican and Soliman have done will continue even as they work from a “Z-car” instead of bikes.  At our update to PPCC on April 13, we pointed out that not only would PPTFH fail if we lost the Beach Patrol, what we really need is a full-time Beach Patrol team (1 lead and 4 officers).  We are grateful to PPCC for passing a motion urging the city to give us that team on a permanently budgeted basis, not temporarily by reallocating resources.

We recently learned of a pending lawsuit that proposes to overturn the LA Municipal Code that forbids camping or sleeping on the beach from midnight to 5 a.m.  This is not an ordinance aimed at the homeless.  The issue was discussed at the PPCC meeting on April 27, and we urge anyone interested in explaining why this is not targeting the homeless to send an email to LAPD Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore at 27995@lapd.lacity.org by May 17.

Doug McCormick
President, PPTFH
Outreach Team Update

We are pleased to present the monthly outreach report in a new format that shows the progress of The People Concern Palisades Outreach Team (also known as “Glanda and Maureen.”) Now that we are into year two of outreach work, it is more complicated to track and communicate our cumulative progress. We hope that you find this new format user-friendly and would appreciate receiving your feedback. 
 
Using 2016 as a baseline, we engaged (worked with consistently) 90 people in 2016 plus an additional 12 in 2017, for a total of 102 engaged people. The number of people “off of the streets” is now 37, or 40% of the combined 2016-2017 numbers. This places us slightly ahead of our goal of 30% “off of the streets” for this baseline time period.
 
Remember that some of our homeless people are transient--here today, gone tomorrow, and back again. Thus, the reported numbers most often represent individuals who have been in the Palisades for many years but may also include some new homeless people. This is why the monthly report numbers need to be considered along with the Annual Point-In-Time (PIT) count conducted by Los Angeles County. This year’s PIT showed 53% fewer homeless encampments in the Palisades. Thus, the PIT numbers along with our outreach team numbers show substantial progress in reducing the number of homeless people living on our community hillsides and streets. Thank you to all PPTFH supporters and Glanda and Maureen for this great work!
 
Sharon Browning
PPTFH Vice President and Chair, Outreach Oversight Committee
 
Helping Our Local Homeless People with Jobs

Not all homeless people are panhandlers seeking cash that quickly goes for liquor or drugs. Some want paying work and hold up signs saying so. Others—famished, exhausted, discouraged—don’t carry them.

A certain look in someone’s eyes or face may spark a passerby’s concerned interest. Asked for their names and where they came from, such persons may tell of sorry situations that uprooted them. Good Samaritans take chances when helping the unsheltered indigent, so caution is always needed when offering direct assistance. Fortunately, PPTFH’s small cards given to homeless persons supply contact information for receiving aid.

Some Palisades residents and businesses have helped homeless persons get jobs. Here are a few of these success stories.

Bert hung out in the Village, and his demeanor impressed some community leaders, who launched efforts to help him, which included replacing his stolen bike. After Caruso Affiliated arranged for Chrysalis training, Bert got a mall-maintaining job, then an apartment and a car.
Andy did outdoor work dependably and well, so when people vouched for his reliability and skills he landed a job at Vons market on Sunset and has just received a raise (the photo shows Andy helping a customer load groceries). Vons also employs a young woman who lives in her mother’s car while attending a local school. And Patrick’s Roadhouse has given paying work to several people once numbered among the Palisades homeless population.

If you manage a business or have friends who do and are willing to consider offering a job to a homeless person, please ask our outreach workers, Glanda and Maureen, about reliable clients in urgent need of employment. In future reports, we will tell you what managers of various businesses say about their experiences employing homeless people.

Barbara Marinacci
PPTFH Communications Committee
 
Fire Safety Enforcement Update
 
In October 2015, PPTFH identified areas where homeless individuals had encampments on our hillsides and brushy areas. To promote fire safety in these areas, the community purchased 20 LAFD signs indicating RESTRICTED ENTRY, High-Risk Fire Hazard, with a fine of up to $1,000 attached (LAMC 57.4908.8.1).
 
In April 2016, task force member Patrick (Sparky) Hart developed a mapping system using Google Maps to help identify and locate all hillside encampments posing a fire hazard. Using this system, our team found 46 active sites. 
 
In February 2017 the enforcement committee identified areas in Temescal Canyon and Castellammare where evidence of fire and encampments indicated that more signs were needed.
 
Bruce Schwartz contacted LAFD Inspector John Novela and requested 15 additional signs for these areas. In response, Inspector Novela offered 15 signs free of charge from 160 signs that LAFD had purchased for other areas in the city.
 
On April 14, Inspector Novela and William Shue from Highway Safety met LAPD officer Rusty Redican and task force members Patrick Hart and Sharon Kilbride. The team installed  10 new signs along Temescal Canyon and 5 in Castellammare. The signage indicates the high fire risk and helps LAPD enforce the no-camping law in these areas frequented by homeless campers.
 
Signage now exists at all mapped areas on hillsides where encampments have been located. As a result of our efforts, there have been no fires on our hillsides since the signs were erected in October 2015.
 
In summary, since the initial Google Maps survey and implementation of signage, 46 active encampments have been reduced to 2 as of April 2017.  We attribute this success to the combined efforts of the Enforcement Committee, the LAPD, and our Outreach Team. Our Outreach Team is attempting to connect individuals in the remaining encampments with services.
 
Sharon Kilbride
Chair, Enforcement Committee
Fundraising Update:
Thanks to Specialty Family Foundation

 
In December 2015, I received a telephone call from Chris Peter, a 20-year resident of the Palisades, who was interested in learning more about PPTFH.  Chris is a board member of the Specialty Family Foundation, founded by her parents James and Joan Peter in 2006, and it was her turn to invite an organization to submit a proposal for funds.  The foundation operates on an invitation-only basis and will not consider unsolicited requests for funds.
 
Chris was looking for an organization that was new and different.  She was attracted to PPTFH because she felt there was an “intractable homeless problem in the Palisades that everyone, including me, feels hopeless about.”  She believes “it’s unacceptable to have people living in bushes and on sidewalks” and now there is a group of mighty warriors willing to do an enormous amount of work to attack the problem and come up with a creative solution.  She was drawn to “the creative solution” of having a fulltime Outreach Team dedicated solely to the Palisades
 
However, Chris wanted assurances that PPTFH wasn’t going “to crash and burn” after a brief time and that PPTFH wasn’t only about protecting the residents rather than trying to help the homeless.  As she set about doing research, Chris was impressed that PPTFH was partnering with The People Concern (formerly OPCC), already a grantee of the foundation, and by PPTFH’s mission “to insure that our homeless people receive compassionate services with access to permanent housing while the community is protected and remains safe.” 
 
Assured that the work of PPTFH was aligned with the goal of the foundation to “break the cycle of poverty,” Chris recommended PPTFH as a grant recipient.  PPTFH is proud to have received grants from the Specialty Family Foundation for the last two years.  We are grateful for their support and most especially to Chris Peter for her ongoing confidence.
 
Barbara Overland
Chair, Fundraising Committee
 
 
 
Help Us Reach Our Goal!
DONATE TODAY
 
Treasurer’s Report
 
Thanks to the community’s continuing and generous support, PPTFH is now within 15%, or $70,000, of its goal of raising $500,000 for its three-year project.  This means that we have the PPTFH funds to pay for the outreach team for three years, and the focus must now shift to raising move-in costs (first and last month’s rent, for example). These funds are essential for actually getting people into housing when they are ready. 
 
David Morena
Treasurer, PPTFH
The Jack in the Box near PCH & Sunset was becoming an encampment.  The Enforcement Team contacted the owner and he quickly put up fencing.
Copyright © PPTFH, All rights reserved.
President: Doug McCormick; Vice-President: Sharon Browning; Treasurer/Secretary: David Morena

Our email address is:
pacpalihtf@gmail.com

To reach the Outreach Team of Glanda & Maureen email:
palisadesoutreach@opcc.net

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

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