City Welcomes New Police Chief

A message from the new LBPD Chief Robert Thompson:

On behalf of my family and myself, I want to thank the people of Laguna Beach for
a warm welcome. As a frequent visitor to the city, we have been amazed at the
kindness of the people we’ve met, the spectacular beach and dining. It was this
experience as visitors which led us to embracing the exciting opportunity to join the
team as a member of the police department. Laguna Beach is a special place, a
place people choose to be, and one we are humbled to be a small part of.

I remain committed to helping provide accurate and timely information, being
accessible to the community, and listening and learning as policing in America
evolves in this new era. The men and women of the Laguna Beach Police
Department and dedicated and committed to the safety and welfare of all residents
and guests. With the support of the community, I am confident we are wellpositioned
to continue to provide the service the people of Laguna Beach deserve
and expect.

Thank you all for the kindness you’ve shown my family as we settle in Orange
County, and I look forward to serving this outstanding community.

Looking for the latest data on Crime and Safety in Laguna Beach – Click Here

To Learn more on the city’s new Police Chief’s background view the article in Public CEO here.

Updated – Public Safety Message from the Chief of Police

2020 Update Laguna Beach Police Crime report here

Updated Police Documents – Story from Stu News click here

Read the 59 page Laguna Beach PD Biennial Report 2017-2018 here

Date: August 17, 2018

Laguna Beach Residents:

Over the past few months there has been much concern expressed about crime and safety in our city. LBCHAT reached out to Laguna Beach Police Chief Laura Farinella and asked her to respond to the safety concerns.

Here is Chief Farinella’s response:

The City of Laguna Beach is an extremely safe city, and all police department employees have positively contributed to the reduction in crime. We are currently fully staffed at the sworn ranks, and with the support of the professional staff, it is these layered services that gives us the ability to function as if we were a much larger agency.

With 24 thousand residents and 6.5 million visitors, we are continuously challenged to meet and balance the needs of both the residential and visitor population. On a monthly basis, the leadership team meets to discuss crime and nuisance issues, and strategies to combat these issues, and how we can better engage with the community.

Here is some statistical data the police department maintains to monitor and analyze crime related activity.

Violent Crime Data here

Traffic Data* here *Laguna’s traffic accidents have actually decreased and the below chart shows that Coast Hwy (PCH) made up, on average, 22% or 13%, depending on where on Coast Hwy., and this is comparing three years of data. It may feel like more because PCH is used to get to where an accident may be and is the fastest way to get there. We use the data in the chart below to focus traffic enforcement and education.

Police Department August 15, 2018 SL Presentation here

Please direct questions on the data provided to: lfarinella@lagunabeachcity.net or call 949-497-0385.

___________________________________________________

LBCHAT supports Chief Farinella and our public safety staff. She takes an inclusive approach to leading and it is making a positive difference in our community. She is proud of our City, our public safety department staff and the progress made in connecting with residents and serving our extremely large tourism base.

Please share your thoughts with us? click here

As a resident, do you feel safe at home?
Do you feel safe while out and about in our City?
Do you think the City is providing adequate public safety services?
What areas do you feel could be improved?
Have you contacted the City with public safety concerns in 2018?
Do you have personal story to share?
Do you attend City Hall Meeting?
Are you aware that the City offers community educational and training classes for residents?

Guest Review: South Laguna Tourist Quagmire

Date: August 16, 2018
Subject: August 15, 2018 meeting on tourist Impacts in South Laguna.

Comments from South Laguna resident Michele Monda:

I attended the South Laguna Civic Association (SLCA) meeting on Wednesday night (August 15th) to hear an update on what the Laguna police, lifeguards and county parks staff are doing to make South Laguna safer. “I was delighted to hear that with the increased beach patrols, citations are up and crime and nuisance complaints are down.”
Questions among the 25 people who attended were related to what could be done about the lack of toilets, increased jay walking across PCH and the parking problem that has not been resolved. City staff said they would look into these issues. So, “I guess we still have a ways to go to address the South Laguna tourist quagmire.”

Michele Monda
South Laguna

View the LB Police Department August 15, 2018 Presentation. Click here

Please share your thoughts with us. Click here

Did you attend this meeting?
Do you live in South Laguna?
What specific issue(s) prompted you to attend the meeting?
Were you satisfied with the City progress report?
Were you satisfied with the OC Parks report?
Did you agree with the statistics provided in the reports?
Are there other issues you are concerned about that weren’t covered?
What issue have they addressed that you are most relieved or pleased about?
Have you personally contacted the City or County to report on an issue in 2018?
Anything else you would like to share?

Thank you! The more we speak up the more we improve our quality of life in South Laguna and our City.

Mission Viejo-Taking the Tougher Stance On Homeless Familiar to Laguna Beach

The Mission Viejo City Council has voted to toughen its ordinance against camping in the City.  According to the Voice of OC:

“The camping ordinance is a revision of the city’s previous camping law, which only addressed sleeping in cars, campers, recreational vehicles and trailers. The new ordinance applies to individuals sleeping anywhere on public property in the city.

“Unless otherwise permitted by law, it is unlawful for any person to camp or use camp paraphernalia in or on any public park, street, sidewalk or other public property,” the ordinance reads.

It seems that the City Council of MV would have done well to examine the long and expensive history that Laguna Beach has experienced in following a similar path.  Although MV’s law will not allow the citing of anyone “camping” if there is no alternative lodging space available, it seems that the ACLU and other homeless advocacy groups are already preparing for a legal challenge.

When will cities learn that they can’t ‘fix’ this homeless problem on their own?  This requires a state/county-wide approach that brings together government, faith and private resources in order to have a realistic impact.  Read the VofOC article here.

Legislative Action to Regain Local Control over Sober Living Facilities

The 27June 2017 City Council meeting has a consent item concerning Laguna Beach’s signing-on as a member of  the Western States Sober Living Homes Reform Coalition (WSSLHR) spearheaded by the Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACC-OC).  The Coalition supports federal and state legislation that seek to close loopholes in the FHA and ADA that have prevented localities from enforcing zoning and business-oversight laws in the case of Sober Living Facilities.  LagunaBeachCHAT supports the City joining the Coalition.  We have reproduced the majority of the invitation letter sent by the ACC-OC to the City Council, laying out their membership invitation and legislative ideas.


ACC-OC & Efforts

The ACC-OC is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of the 34 Orange County cities and the County of Orange. ACC-OC serves as a resource for elected officials and municipalities, focusing on three key initiatives: education that empowers, policy that is collaborative, and advocacy that is service-oriented. We bring together our city members, the business community, non-profits, special districts, and higher education to find fair solutions to challenges that affect our cities, like those related to sober living homes.

ACC-OC has been at the forefront of sober living home reform, working with local leaders, and state and federal legislators to sponsor bills, support reform measures, facilitate educational meetings and host televised town halls. We have a three-pronged approach to working with our communities on sober living home reform:

  • We support federal action: H.R. 472 sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa is a critical bill that would close loopholes that protect bad-acting sober living homes. If passed, the bill would amend the federal Fair Housing Act, empower cities to enforce current zoning laws, and limit the distance of facilities in their communities. The ACC-OC strongly supports this legislation and is working to build support across the state and beyond. ..
  • We are leading state action: ACC-OC has sponsored past statewide legislation and is currently working on Assembly Bill 572. There are just 16 state employees that enforce sober living facility registration for the entire state of California. All of whom are located in one region of the state. AB 572 would allow cities to fund an enforcement employee, locally, in partnership with the state and the County of Orange, to more quickly address noncompliant sober living facility complaints and misconduct…
  • We are informing the public: ACC-OC has hosted public town halls, media efforts and other public education initiatives that are important to ensuring that the public is aware of their rights, how to effect change and who to call with concerns. Communicating what cities can and cannot do regarding the actions taken against sober living residences is imperative for city residents to understand.

There is no denying the necessity of providing treatment options for those in our community struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. In 2016, fatal drug overdoses hit a 10-year high in Orange County, and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called the national spike in drug abuse and overdose deaths a national epidemic. The issue of sober living home reform lies instead with those seizing on the lack of oversight to open sub-standard facilities, and the inability of cities to ensure that the facilities within their jurisdictions are functioning properly. SLHs have not only negatively affected cities and the composition of neighborhoods, but has also diminished the quality of living for those patients seeking treatment in residential settings.

Background

In California, there are two types of sober living residences, licensed facilities and unlicensed homes. Sober living facilities (SLF) must be licensed through California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), when at least one of the following services is provided: detoxification, group sessions, individual sessions, educational sessions, or alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment planning. The more difficult and unregulated residency type is referred to as a sober living home (SLH). SLHs are considered single family homes and are treated as such, as long as they maintain a group living situation of six people or under and do not offer any treatment to patients through any of the listed methodologies. No matter how closely that the SLH in question operates as a business or whether they are suspected to be providing what would be considered licensed treatments, if the SLH is a group of six people or fewer choosing to live among one another in a home, neither the state or a local government have the authority over how that home is regulated or operated (emphasis LBChat). Additionally, the only entity with the ability to enforce any licensing standards and respond to complaints related to licensed facilities lies completely with DHCS.

The laws at the federal level have further propelled the proliferation of SLHs because of the protections that were enacted by the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which have been interpreted to extend those protections to SLHs and SLFs. These laws have prohibited the discrimination against those recovering from Alcohol or Other Drug abuse by classifying these individuals as disabled. Fair housing law requires states and cities to make reasonable accommodations for the disabled by not limiting their ability to reside in a home or enact laws that would treat those recovering from substance abuse any differently than another residence based on the residents who live within a single home. These federal laws have unintentionally left cities and states with little to no recourse to address the bad actors in the industry.

City Challenges

In California there are nearly 2000 licensed facilities and countless unlicensed homes – an alarming 15% of which are located in the County of Orange. As an example, there were 83 licensed drug and alcohol treatment facilities and 95 unlicensed sober living homes within the city of Costa Mesa alone. The City contains a population of over 112,000 people, which is less then 3.5% of the total countywide population; this has led to an oversaturation of treatment facilities and homes that exceed a reasonable need for services within a single jurisdiction. The FHA and ADA laws didn’t account for the determination of what would be considered a reasonable number of service providers. This is needed to maintain a healthy balance of treatment accessibility, while still preserving a residential environment.

The challenges presented by oversaturation has also led to the need for distancing requirements. When a neighborhood becomes absorbed with SLHs and SLFs a residential community turns into an institutionalized one – the very atmosphere that a residential recovery option is meant to avoid. Often, SLHs and SLFs operators will open residences directly next door to one another or even take an entire neighborhood block. This allows operators the ability to provide multiple service units, or to create institutionalized sized kitchens or living spaces for those living in the adjacent primary residences. This practice occurs on the same or different parcels of land to maintain the classification of an SLH or to expand SLF services. Cities cannot bar sober living residences to expand in this way because that would be considered discriminatory activity under FHA and ADA protections. The cities that do try to implement citywide ordinances requiring distancing requirements between multiple SLHs or SLFs have all faced time consuming and costly litigation – even in the few instances that the courts have ruled in favor of the city. The cities who have been successful in this remedy still face regulatory uncertainty, and the potential to be taken back to court on a case by case basis.

Due to the composition of SLFs housing six different tenants in what is normally meant for a single-family unit there are many behavioral complaints reported by community residents. These issues include: excessive smoking, an overabundance of trash and litter, loud noise, and a concentration of six or more vehicles for one household – leading to parking congestion. A handful of cities have done their best to regulate SLHs by enforcing local “nuisance” ordinances related to these behaviors, but that does not get to the core of the issue. Nuisance ordinances don’t help in reducing a neighborhood’s sober living residence proliferation, which multiplies these harmful externalities.

SLH Residents

In addition to the fact that many cities are unable to regulate and enforce rules over sober living homes, the residents seeking treatment in SLFs and SLHs have little to no recourse related to the quality of their treatment of living situation. SLFs often have documented and licensed treatment plans that residents agree to participating in before residing in those facilities, but SLHs are not required to provide or offer any type of contract, report outcomes, and are not held to any accountability standards. In both cases, cities cannot field any complaints of misconduct or licensure incompliance because of federal and state laws, even if reported by a client or resident.

The main concern related to the bad actors in the SLH industry is that these homes run primarily for profit due to the lack of oversight. In many scenarios, unlicensed SLHs charge their tenants unregulated rent prices as high as $75,000 a month with the promise of providing a safe and sober living environment for clients to rehabilitate. Many facilities have been able to take advantage of insurance covered treatment costs that have been subsidized by government programs, without any type of eligibility thresholds to receive these dollars. Those recovering from addiction have been compelled to seek treatment in places like California or in western states at higher rates than other parts of the country because of the attractiveness of licing in a welcoming climate, and operators’ promises of ‘resort-style’ recovery. An overwhelmning number of residents who live in western state sober living homes come from across the country, basing their move on operator advertisements and the draw of leaving behind negative influences and lifestyles in preparation for their treatment.

Unfortunately, these seeking treatment are often in desperate need, including families trying to find a safe environment for their young adult or teenage children. In 2011, 20 – year old Brandon Jacques’ family paid a Prescott, Arizona facility $14,500 a month to provide a sober living environment for their son. After he experienced an alcohol related incident in the Prescott home he was urged to move to a more ‘effective’ home in Newport Beach, California, by the owner and operator of these SLHs. When Brandon got to the Newport Beach facility he was moved to yet another home, in exchange for different profits traded between SLH operators. Within two months, Brandon died in the sober living home because he still had access to alcohol and was still practicing abusive behaviors. The only entity in the state of California with the authority to investigate misconduct didn’t intervene or revoke associated licenses connected to the operators and owners until after Brandon’s death.

Sadly, Brandon’s case, is not the only incident of this kind. While those circumstances are egregious, many residents experience other negative fallouts including, continued substance use, poor living conditions, physical abuse, and the most frequent, the potential for homelessness. If a resident is unable to continue paying the high premium of rent, their insurance has run out, or their treatment is deemed to be over; SLH residents end up on the street and have become a part of the growing homeless population. California cities working with homeless individuals have reported that this has been the case. Especially affecting many out of state former SLH residents. These residents had no other place to go, and in many cases, went back to abusing alcohol or other drugs.

Coalition

The previously described sober living home problems are not unique to Orange County cities or even the state of California, sober living home challenges transcend city, county and state lines. ACC-OC is working vigorously to find commonsense solutions to the currently broken system, but our voices would be much louder if they were heard together. We need our neighboring states and cities to join in our efforts to impact federal law. The sober living home laws passed at the state and local levels cannot truly have an impact until the risk of those laws being challenged or superseded at the national level have been diminished. The reforms introduced by H.R. 472 would be a welcome resource for cities across the country, and especially in our western region. We are inviting you to join the Western States Sober Living Homes Reform Coalition to help advocate for bills like H.R. 472 and other national regulatory and legislative efforts to reform sober living homes.

Please join our coalition by signing on to the attached document. This will allow us to include your city’s affiliation on Coalition approved joint letters, shared advocacy information, and general Coalition promotion and outreach. Should you have any questions about the Western States Sober Living Homes Reform Coalition or about ACC-OC, please contact Diana Coronado, ACC-OC’s Legislative Affairs Director, at (714) 953-1300 or at dcoronado@accoc.org. We hope to be a resouce to you, and we look forward to working with you and your City on this important mission!

Sincerely,

Heather Stratman

Chief Executive Officer

Association of California Cities – Orange County

Public Pressure works! – BoS authorizes $5m in new housing for homeless people with serious mental illnesses

Building public pressure does work to influence our elected representatives, as seen in the BoS’ increased attention to issues of homelessness in the County. Most recently, they have voted to spend $5million in new monies targeted at services for mentally ill homeless. Most of the attention is directed at the “riverbed homeless” and those in North Orange County (as we have mentioned before). Its too bad that our City officials don’t seem to engage with the County on this issue, giving Laguna no seat at the table when public monies are directed towards this problem.

Read more at the Voice of OC:

Noting Public Pressure, OC Supervisors Approve Homeless Services and Housing

Kraemer Place – Phase 1 Year-Round Homeless Shelter Opens in Anaheim

The OC Board of Supervisors celebrated the opening of Phase 1 of  “Bridges at Kraemer Place”  last week. This will be OC’s first year-round shelter outside of Laguna’s ASL.  When Phase 2 opens, the facility will be able to house 200 residents.  However, based on the most recent survey of OC’s homeless, this is just a drop in the bucket in comparison to the need.  Plus, priority will be given to homeless from North County… (we’ve heard this Residency Test applied before).

County’s First Year-Round Homeless Shelter Opens

ACLU’s Glover v. Laguna Beach lawsuit – Is Past Just Prologue?

When a discussion of the homeless situation comes up among Lagunans, the sense of frustration on all sides is immediately apparent. On the one side, there is the belief that Laguna Beach goes above and beyond what any other municipality in Orange County does to provide year-round facilities for homeless individuals; and as the City is continually being sued into doing more, we become a magnet for ever greater numbers of homeless to descend on us from near and far. On the other side is the sense that Laguna could and should be doing more; that our support for the Alternate Sleeping Location (ASL) is insufficient and that the monies that we spend on police and emergency services directed at the homeless could be better allocated toward providing permanent supportive housing.

LagunaBeachCHAT wanted to look into the issue from the perspective of the current lawsuit that was filed in August 2015 against the City and its police department, by the ACLU of Southern California (et. al.) on behalf of several chronically homeless who are also disabled. This lawsuit is known as Glover v. Laguna Beach and it asserts that the City and Police are violating the following with respect to the Plaintiffs:

  • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132 (the “ADA”); 
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (the “Rehabilitation Act”)
  • the 8th (cruel and unusual punishment) and 14th (equal protection) Amendments to the United States Constitution
  • Article I, sections 7 (A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the laws) and 17 (Cruel or unusual punishment may not be inflicted or excessive fines imposed) of the California Constitution.

In a nutshell, it asserts that the Defendants are violating the rights of the DISABLED homeless because the ASL cannot accommodate them, and because of the City’s approach of giving priority to those it deems as “Laguna Beach homeless” over others is inherently unfair and discriminatory. Furthermore, the LBPD’s criminalization of their activities once they’ve been denied space at the ASL puts them in a no-win situation. (Our City Manager wrote an OpEd in February 2017 about the ACLU lawsuit for the Indy that you can read here. The piece asserts that the lawsuit is frivolous and that Laguna Beach can stand proudly behind its ongoing efforts to accommodate its homeless population).

Thus far, the City has spent $1,071,086.44 (end of March 2017) in defending this latest class action lawsuit in the courts, and it is my guess (as a non-attorney) that the City will ultimately lose if it does not agree to yet more concessions. If we assume this to be the case, perhaps the more enlightened approach would be to work with other local, state and Federal governments, non-profits, churches and other organizations to establish Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) around the region. PSH is defined as housing that provides supportive services such as mental health treatment and case management. Several studies conclude that PSH is the only solution to address the issues inherent with disabled homeless persons. Those same studies claim that it ultimately saves taxpayers money in terms of dollars not spent on police, hospital emergency rooms and the courts. It is important that we work with a coalition of partners to ensure such PSH be reasonably available throughout the Orange County and surrounding areas so that Laguna Beach does not become the sole source and thus a magnet for ever more disabled homeless.

Some Background

In December 2008, the ACLU of Southern California and co-counsel filed suit on behalf of several disabled, homeless individuals challenging the City’s policy and practice of enforcing Laguna Beach Municipal Code (“L.B.M.C.”) section 18.04.0201 against disabled, homeless persons in a manner that criminalized sleeping in all public places at night and conducting “sweeps” of beaches, parks, and other public places at night and in the early morning to wake and harass sleeping homeless persons, as well as other enforcement tactics that targeted disabled, homeless individuals. The City settled the case quickly and as a result, repealed the offending statutes and ultimately established the Alternate Sleeping Location (ASL) run by Friendship shelter. The City contends that the creation of the ASL allows it to legally enforce laws prohibiting sleeping, camping, or lodging in public – despite its small size and limited accessibility, especially for those with disabilities. Funding the ASL are city tax dollars (which amounted to $242,000 most recently) and federal grants, for a total annual spend of approximately $360,000.

Some Numbers

The ACLU’s 2015 Glover v LB claims that the ASL is too small and inappropriate for mentally disabled (too loud, no privacy, etc) and as a result the rights of disabled homeless (as enumerated at the start) are still being violated. The suit claims that there are between 40 and 100 disabled homeless in Laguna who fall into the class. Providing PSH for this number of disabled individuals will no doubt be a very expensive undertaking, one which it is unreasonable and unfeasible for a city the size of Laguna Beach to finance. If we assume PSH with bare essentials to cost $3,000 per person, per month, even the smallest count of 40 persons would cost $1,440,000 annually. If we assume the same ratio of grants-to-city-funds as currently exist for the ASL, that $1.4million would cost Laguna Beach taxpayers $967,000 per year beyond the costs of the ASL.

Residency Test

At the City’s behest, the ASL gives priority to those who can demonstrate that they are “local Laguna Beach residents.” This residency requirement for homeless individuals has an extremely high bar – individuals must demonstrate that an immediate family member currently lives in Laguna Beach, that they attended K-12 school in Laguna Beach, that they leased or paid utilities for residential property in Laguna Beach, or that the LBPD knows them to have been members of the Laguna Beach homeless community for at least 18 months.

An individual who does not meet this City residency requirement can only receive shelter by appearing there in person each night and adding his or her name to a waitlist. ASL staff members draw names from the waitlist to determine who can stay at the shelter on that night. Individuals whose names are not selected in this lottery cannot stay at the shelter, and there is no other legal place for them to sleep within the City. (per Glover v. LB).

It seems that the City is being entirely reasonable in applying a ‘residency test’ for priority placement at the ASL. If not for this test, then the floodgates would open and many additional homeless would make their way to Laguna Beach, claim residence and demand full privileges for services. There are 2 problems with this line of thinking:

  1. The ASL may indeed not be appropriate for disabled homeless, even the subset that we consider our local homeless. The City would still be in violation of the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, the 14th amendment among others, if it failed to accommodate disabled homeless individuals.
  2. Residency Tests – This is fraught legally. When localities have attempted to limit eligibility of benefits by applying residency tests, the Supreme Court has found such residency tests illegitimate. The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that a state/locality can impose residency requirements as a condition of eligibility for fundamental rights only under certain circumstances. A fundamental right is any right that is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. A state must have a compelling State Interest to justify the restriction of basic rights by the imposition of residency requirements. The courts ultimately determine whether the state has a significant interest by examining and Balancing the interests of the state against the rights of the person. Where a residency requirement does not serve compelling state interests, it will be held unconstitutional as a denial of equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Constitution. The courts have addressed residency requirements involving Welfare and public housing benefits, basic medical care, and voting that are based on fundamental rights. Certainly the benefit of a roof is one that the courts would consider as fundamental, and therefore not subject to the imposition of a ‘test’. (Bear in mind too, that the Supreme court has concluded that the constitutional guarantee of personal liberty gives each citizen the right to travel throughout the United States without unreasonable restrictions).

Where To Go From Here

If the City cannot deny services to homeless who consider themselves Lagunans (a phrase one sees frequently in the ACLU’s lawsuit), and if the level of services currently provided by the ASL are not adequate for disabled homeless and in short supply overall it seems that we have few options available:

  • The City could continue to fight in the courts (est cost $500,000 per year)
  • The City could expand its existing homeless services and agree to provide PSH to at least 40 persons at a great additional cost to the taxpayers (est cost of an additional $967,000 per year)
  • The City could look to work together with Federal, State, local governments, non-profits, churches to establish and help support PSH regionally

There are no simple answers to this very complex issue. One could argue that the City made a misstep in 2009 when it settled the original ACLU lawsuit by unilaterally setting up the ASL for “local homeless”. Its legal representation must have known that establishing a residency test to limit those eligible to use the ASL was folly, and that ultimately the ASL’s creation would become a magnet (beyond the natural magnet of good weather and beautiful surroundings).  Instead, it seems that the City Council of the day wanted to make the ACLU lawsuit ‘go away’ via the most expeditious and cost-effective approach then presented to them. This author believes that at the first hint of the earlier lawsuit, the City would have been well advised to start working collaboratively with others to ensure that homeless services would be distributed across the region; services appropriate for homeless with or without disabilities.

As a local taxpayer it is frustrating that the efforts and treasure that our City has directed towards helping the homeless are now being met with demands for ever more. I’m frustrated too, that these efforts and treasure have had no measurable effect on staying ahead of the problem. If we are correct that the City will have to make significant concessions as a result of the Glover v. LB lawsuit, LagunaBeachCHAT strongly advises the City to seek a regional solution of which it will be a part, but by no means go it alone, and one that includes PSH.  Bear in-mind though, that the City Council at the time of the 2008/2009 ACLU lawsuit included current City Mayor Toni Iseman and Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Boyd; so perhaps the momentum towards trying a new approach isn’t there and we will instead see the: go-it-alone/make-it-go-away approach of the past.

You can read the entire Glover v. Laguna Beach lawsuit here.

Homeless in the OC

In Orange County, new research from UC Irvine estimates an overall savings of $42 million per year if every chronically homeless person is provided permanent supportive housing.  The solution to this growing problem will require that all of our leaders work together, County, Cities, non-profits, communities of faith and the homeless themselves (those not suffering from mental illness) to break the cycle that sees up to 15,000 people a year experiencing at least 1 incident of homelessness, in Orange County. Read more from the Voice of OC here.