Home>Articles>Culver City Homeless Tent Ban Already Limiting Homeless Movement Into City

Homeless encampment along the roadside depicting the growing epidemic of homelessness (Photo: Philip Pilosian/ Shutterstock)

Culver City Homeless Tent Ban Already Limiting Homeless Movement Into City

New laws across county causing many homeless to want to leave LA area entirely

By Evan Symon, February 21, 2023 2:30 am

Less than a week following Culver City’s sweeping tent and homeless encampment ban, those who work with the homeless in Southern California are now faced with a stark new reality.

For years, Los Angeles and the dozens of other cities in LA County have had a large-scale back and forth between homeless encampment bans and lawsuits that wind up reversing or softening most of them. Some have managed to stick, such as an LA ordinance passed last year that bans homeless encampments from being near schools and daycares.  In 2021, another ordinance had banned them from setting up on sidewalks and many public areas. However, others haven’t, such as an ordinance that banned people from sleeping in cars.

But, with the homeless crisis worsening in and around LA, and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass struggling to get a handle on the situation, many cities have turned to more drastic solutions. Some have attempted retrying Project Roomkey despite previously failures, but major resistance from motel owners and homeless people themselves have stalled that effort in many locales. Instead, total tent and encampment bans have sprung up, including Culver City’s new ordinance passed last week.

Approved by a narrow 3-2 vote by the Culver City Council, the ordinance bans all tent encampments in the city. While more temporary housing and motel rooms will open up to those in need, people who erect tents in areas outside of sanctioned camp sites will receive a citation for breaking the law. The law will go into effect only after enough shelter and bed space become available, to get around a 2018 federal court ruling.

Proponents noted that many homeless from Los Angeles had been coming into the city for some time, and that a law was needed to stop the migration, halt the strain on city resources, and help keep the city safe.

“A fear of mine is if we don’t have all the tools in place to help our own unhoused and Los Angeles already have the enforcement along our borders, then those who refuse housing will just cross the street into Culver City, and then further strain our resources,” said Culver City Councilman Dan O’Brien last week.

Opponents countered that the ordinance virtually criminalizes being homeless, didn’t take into account those that don’t want assistance, and could lead the way for a serious legal challenge.

“I am very disappointed,” Culver City Councilwoman Yasmin-Imani McMorrin said following the vote.” I feel this is an incredibly harmful policy that doesn’t add anything other than punitive measures.”

Changes in LA County

But on the streets, there has been a huge change, one of which could spread throughout the County.

“The homeless are feeling cornered right now,” explained Ryan Shea, a homeless housing coordinator in Southern California, to the Globe on Monday. “Culver City was just the latest, but  all these ordinances and laws that are springing up, the homeless don’t know where to go. Lately, when I try to get them to a shelter or at least away from setting up near a busy street, comments have have gone from ‘Where should I go?’ to ‘Can the city send me back home?'”

“It’s not that they don’t like LA, it’s just that they are being more and more limited into where they can go. All these RV laws too are sending people scrambling. I talked with several RV owners last week, and they need to circle around for hours some nights looking for any legal place to park for the night, but there are just so many street ordinances nowadays that it is difficult.”

“So when they say ‘I wish I was back in Baltimore’ or something, and we say ‘Would you like a bus ticket there?’ they respond pretty positively. The same goes for many lifelong LA homeless. Many of them want to go to Vegas or other cities because they heard it was better there. In Hawaii, they give one way tickets to the homeless off the islands to the mainland. Some other cities pay for airfare to get them out. New laws like the Culver law are leading more and more homeless to ask us for a Greyhound ticket someplace else, and we don’t have a program for it. We’re spending so much on them here that it seems to never occur to us that maybe use a fraction of that and see where they would want to go. That’s what these laws are doing. They are making them want to find someway out and leave these cities, but we aren’t providing an option for them to leave permanently, only forcing them to shuffle from city to city. You know, this isn’t like Texas and Florida flying up migrants up to Massachusetts. They want a way out because these laws have forced it on them..”

Other homeless limiting ordinances are expected to be passed later this year in cities across LA County.

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7 thoughts on “Culver City Homeless Tent Ban Already Limiting Homeless Movement Into City

  1. Homelessness is a crime now! Is this the best we can do for people who are poor and traumatized? Let’s just send them somewhere else so we don’t have to see how we are failing as a community. These are human beings. We need to open our eyes and our hearts and yes our pocketbooks to help, not close the book on them. Wake up people, these are human beings who need help.

    1. How many are YOU housing personally, Desiree???

      Pretty easy to play the compassion card, as long as someone else is picking up the tab, right???

    2. No, but the crimes these drug addict transients (aka “homeless”) commit are legitimate. At some point society has to recognize that the vast majority of these so-called victims voluntarily messed up their own lives. And no, it’s not someone else’s fault. Nor is it someone else’s responsibility to pay for their screw ups or constantly put up with their crimes and filth. Hell no! We shouldn’t have to put up with compassionate idiots either.

    3. You do understand, don’t you, that all of the politicians and government bureaucrats and “homeless advocates” and useless non-profits (not all, some are precious, such as L.A.’s Union Rescue Mission), developers and others are making wads of cash OFF OF THE BACKS of the tortured addicts and mentally ill people on the street? And having absconded with BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of taxpayer money, want to GROW the problem of homelessness and vagrancy so they can abscond with BILLIONS MORE?
      Please know that this horrendous and inhumane and completely unacceptable situation has become a huge, money-making INDUSTRY for these greedy and heartless politicians, bureaucrats, non-profits and others who have a stake in the cash it generates. They do not want it to go away, they want it to get bigger.

  2. YOU need sober up, not just wake up Ms. Whitney? Be careful too as your purported last name might be construed as racist. One letter separates Whitney from Whitey. To the article, these miscreants created their own lives and were abetted by leftist loons like you and think throwing money at a problem money cannot solve is the remedy. Feed feral populations, you get more of them. As the other writer asked, how many are you supporting? My sense is that a) you’re on the dole too, or b) you part of the grievance victim complex which seeks to lay blame at everyone except the culprit. Too bad LinkTV is off the air. You need to find something else to watch and bitch.

  3. Culver City Democrat Councilwoman Yasmin-Imani McMorrin was very sad said following the vote saying that it was an incredibly harmful policy that doesn’t add anything other than punitive measures? How many of the homeless has Councilwoman Yasmin-Imani McMorrin taken into her home and supported with her own funds? No doubt NONE!

  4. Nice racist comment Harry. We dont need any of that here. What we need is a policy that helps the small percentage of homeless that truly need help. The rest of these vagrants are just taking advantage of the system and the fake compassion that these bleeding hearts who live in guilt are pushing on the rest of us. The RV crowd are just people living rent free in our city and they need to get a job or pay an RV park to live there. Our vice mayor in culver city is a fraud who is playing on the emotions of others and is backed by the homeless industrial complex. They make money off of the homeless NOT to help them.

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