Since he took office in 2013, District 11 City Councilman Mike Bonin has been the body’s most vocal advocate for the city’s homeless population, taking on the homeless crisis as one of his core issues and seeking out ways for the city to solve it. Now, the Westside legislator has proposed a motion that the homeless be temporarily housed at sites on county-owned beaches, including Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey, Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey, and Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades.
His proposal calls for the council to instruct the office of the City Administrative Officer to “evaluate and identify funding” for temporary, single-occupancy tiny houses as well as safe camping and safe parking in parking lots and RV parks already at the locations.
He also wants the CAO to evaluate creating similar accommodations in Culver City, a privately owned lot in Del Rey—where a tent encampment already exists—and asks Recreation and Parks to look into setting aside a portion of Westchester Park for a safe camping program.
Bonin says in his proposal that previous Westside projects like permanent supportive housing, interim housing, bridge housing, and leased or purchased hotel rooms are “not enough,” in the face of increasing homelessness.
“My team and I have been working for months to identify additional locations,” he states, “more programs, and different forms of housing to address homelessness on the Westside.”
On Monday, Bonin admitted on Twitter that this the proposal isn’t perfect, writing, “None of the locations we’ve identified are ideal, and I’m always open to other suggestions. But we’ve looked long and hard. There or no ideal places on the Westside, but that doesn’t reduce the need or urgency to act.”
None of the locations we’ve identified are ideal, and I’m always open to other suggestions. But we’ve looked long and hard. There or no ideal places on the Westside, but that doesn’t reduce the need or urgency to act.
— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) April 5, 2021
While a petition against “a legalized homeless encampment at Palisades Beach” had garnered nearly 7,000 signatures by Tuesday evening, other locals are supportive of the prospect.
“The homeless need a place to live, but there’s just so much beach and I think it’s a great opportunity,” L.A. beachgoer Sonia Hsieh-Shumacher told ABC 7. “I feel bad that people don’t have places to live and I can’t put myself in their shoes and I want to do things to help them.”
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