Some homeless people say they’re being targeted because of who they are. “Stop the haters,” said one protest sign carried by a homeless man in
In the past few years, a growing number of homeless people have gathered in the beach town of
In response, local officials proposed a Vehicles to Homes program in which homeless people who want help will be assigned a safe, legal place to park while efforts begin to find them a home.
But LAFLA contends that program isn’t working, and it is suing the city to stop law enforcement from fining the homeless, contending that in certain cases, the police have gone too far in their efforts to clean up the area.
LAFLA is primarily funded by the Legal Services Corporation, a taxpayer-funded non-profit entity created by Congress.
In a November 2010 press release announcing the lawsuit, LAFLA attorney Susan Millman said the City of
“LAPD is chasing homeless people from
Carol Sobel, a civil rights lawyer who has partnered with LAFLA in suing the city, told CNSNews.com that Los Angeles is trying to push the homeless out of “any community in which a few of them gather. They started downtown and now they’re working on
A key element of the LAFLA lawsuit is the handicap parking tags that many homeless people have on their cars and campers.
“One tactic they (police) chose – which is the tactic we’re challenging in this lawsuit – is to cite them for every potential parking violation. The problem being that most of the people – all of the people we represent in this case – are disabled and have valid [handicap] plates on their vehicles or disability placards. I think almost all of them have plates, front and back, indicating that the vehicle is operated by a disabled individual. So under
The lawsuit specifically cites the Vehicles to Homes initiative of L.A. Councilman
Rosendahl spokesman Tony Arranaga told CNSNews.com that the councilman is continuing to push for his Vehicles to Homes initiative. Arranga said the councilman’s intent is to “keep moving forward” despite the LAFLA lawsuit.
Rosendahl, in a January 10 press release addressing his initiative, said that restricting where the homeless can live in their cars while also helping them get off the streets is “the right thing to do.”
“We cannot ignore this enormous social problem of people living in their vehicles,” Rosendahl said. “These two simultaneous efforts – restricting parking for oversized vehicles, and launching a program to help people find safe, legal parking and eventually a home – are parts of a comprehensive and balanced strategy.
“On one hand, we are stepping up enforcement, and on the other hand, we are offering help to those who need it.”