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L.A. Council OKs Detailed Homeless Policy

Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a lengthy homeless policy calling for such remedies as emergency and long-term shelters, better mental health services, more money from the state and county and beefed-up job training programs.

Implementation of some of the elements would hinge on cooperation from county, state and federal agencies to succeed. Most of the homeless policy was adopted in draft form last June. The City Council action Tuesday adopted the policy as part of a 15-point plan to deal with the homeless problem.

Many of the elements of the action plan already have been implemented. But one possible solution to the homeless problem has been ruled out, said George Pallas, city legislative analyst.

Pallas said that urban encampments, such as the one that operated temporarily last summer on downtown property owned by the Southern California Rapid Transit District, were not considered a viable solution by government or private agencies. Representatives of the homeless also felt that the money used to operate such encampments could be put to better use, Pallas said.

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City Councilman Robert Farrell, who chairs the council committee that proposed the policy, said that in the coming months specific solutions will be studied and brought back to the council for approval. He said the adopted policy and action plan would serve as a blueprint for dealing with the homeless.

But Councilwoman Gloria Molina, who cast the lone dissenting vote, strongly criticized the plan as a “namby-pamby” effort that “is as wimpy as the paper it’s written on.” She said the policy fails to outline enough requirements that the city act on the homeless problems. She said that the plan also relies too heavily on securing cooperation from other levels of government to succeed.


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