As reported on KTLA Channel 5 News, an attempt on Wednesday, Jan. 30, by L.A. City Council to outlaw "group homes" and dump untold numbers of low-income seniors, veterans, handicapped, and other underprivileged persons back onto the streets - swelling the numbers of unhoused in L.A. - was protested by a broad coalition of social, civic and religious groups who packed the CIty Council Chambers and spilled over onto the streets surrounding L.A.City Hall.
According to the report, "hundreds of people rallied" in opposition to the proposed ordinance - known as "The Community Care Facilities Ordinance (CCFO)".
As a result, after more than two hours of intense and impassioned discussion, the Council voted to suspend the vote and send both the proposed ordinance, and revisions suggested by those in opposition, to The Housing Committee and other review committees for further study and to assess progress in 90 days.
L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl spoke passionately and eloquently about his own military service and his current sponsorship of the soon-to-be-opened Venice Transitional Living Center (which will provide temporary housing and services to over 120 unhoused people at a time as they move through the burocratic maze on their way to permanent low-income housing), stating that "the homeless are people too" to the thunderous applause of those in the packed Chamber, and the crowds in the streets listening to the Council discussion over loud speakers. Councilman Rosendahl encouraged his fellow council-members to seek real, meaningful and compassionate solutions.
The News Report stated : "Wednesday’s demonstrators were part of a citywide coalition of 151 organizations representing business, labor, faith, poor, veterans, disabled, and homeless.", and reported the following comments by some participating in the rally :
- “ 'CCFO wants to shut us down. We have nowhere else to go. They’re going to put us in the street,' said Victoria Garcia, 24, who is homeless college student. Garcia said if CCFO passing, she will not have a place to sleep."
- 'If you enact this motion, what you will do is drive the people onto the street', another demonstrator said.
Inside the chambers, members of the city council heard from numerous critics. "Many working families, especially veterans, will be negatively impacted if it is implemented," one woman said.
While all agreed that there had been some problems with overcrowding, noise and disruption at some of the neighborhood group-homes, there was equal agreement that simply outlawing them was not the solution and would only lead to a worsening of the homeless problem in L.A., would be almost impossible to enforce, would catastrophically penalize the majority of group home residents who were not causing problems and who were struggling to work their way back to productivity in society, and would violate Federal guidelines - resulting in a significant loss of Federal assistance dollars being used to support current programs to aid the homeless and get them off the streets - in other words, it was generally recognized that the CCFO would not help in solving the complex problems of Homelessness in Los Angeles, but would actually make them worse.