Author: Carol

Los Angeles’ proposed ban on homeless encampments threatens children’s safety

Los Angeles' proposed ban on homeless encampments threatens children's safety

Why L.A.’s ban on homeless encampments near schools, daycare has become heated election issue

The city’s proposed ban on homeless encampments within two-blocks of two preschools in Koreatown and South L.A. has become the main focus of political and public opinion campaigns.

A coalition led by city residents, advocates and business owners is arguing that encampments near schools and daycares would cause “an undue threat to the safety and well-being of children,” as well as create a strain on the city’s $10 billion public school system. The campaign includes the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the Downtown Council and the Koreatown-South L.A. Chamber of Commerce.

The proposed ban has created fierce debate and has been the subject of several news stories in recent days both online and in the print media, including in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, ABC7/San Gabriel, the Washington Post and the Daily Breeze. Supporters say the homeless encampments are a direct threat to the “safety, security and well-being” of children, but opponents accuse them of being a deliberate strategy to scare the children of Los Angeles out of their neighborhood in order to gain political support for a new ballot measure that would require voters to approve a minimum housing provision for homeless veterans.

Proponents of the proposed ban have been fighting the effort to ban the encampments on the grounds that they are a direct threat to the safety of the young people who attend the two preschools and kindergarten that are located right near the encampments. Opponents have been calling for the ban on the grounds that the encampments are the only area in Los Angeles where homeless people actually are living in a tent city, rather than just staying in their cars and in the city’s parks.

The encampments — known by police and fire commanders as the “hippie camps” — are popular among homeless people in South L.A. For months, Los Angeles Police Department investigators have been investigating allegations that homeless people have been living in the encampments, which police officials have characterized as

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