A committee of the Westchester-Playa Democratic Club will be holding monthly meetings on efforts to find solutions for the homeless in Westchester.
At its Aug. 19 meeting, the club’s homeless committee heard from a variety of residents and social service organizations that are working on finding transitional and permanent housing for those who are living in their vehicles or on the streets of Westchester and Playa del Rey.
In recent weeks, homeless advocates have reported an uptick of new homeless people living in Westchester Park.
The nonprofit organization People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) has played an important role in assisting several families and individuals in Westchester, as well as Del Rey and Venice, with finding housing through former Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s “Streets to Homes” program. PATH estimates that between 15 and 20 homeless people are now residing in or near the park.
Representatives of county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, City Councilman Mike Bonin, state Sen. Ted Lieu and Assemblyman Steven Bradford (D-Westchester) attended the committee meeting.
PATH and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority pledged to gather information on each homeless individual prior to each meeting.
Representatives of the homeless committee said several newly arrived homeless people have requested services and appear to qualify for various programs that are available.
County and city representatives joined LAHSA and PATH to review efforts and similar solutions that took place in Westchester Park last year in transitioning homeless individuals to permanent or emergency housing facilities.
Playa del Rey resident Booker Pearson, who chairs the homeless committee, seemed upbeat about the possibility of finding solutions for the problems of homelessness locally. “We’re going to solve this problem,” said Pearson, a longtime homeless advocate who is also a member of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa.
“We’ve just elected a mayor (Eric Garcetti) and Councilmember Mike Bonin who have unequivocally committed themselves to ending homelessness here in Los Angeles, and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has always been dedicated to this cause. The leadership is here.”
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