Homeless encampments are a difficult issue facing the City. While we can’t turn our backs on those in most need in our City, we must also protect the quality of life for the families raising the next generation here. That’s why I am a strong supporter of homeless shelters and nonprofits such as the Rescue Mission that not only provide food for those in need but gives them a shelter and an opportunity to find their way.
But one thing is clear: when an encampment has been abandoned we must take the proper steps to remove the remaining trash and clean the location for the wellbeing of the entire community. Panorama City benefited from one of these face lifts this week as a long standing large encampment was abandoned.
Seeing the debris remaining, the Department of Sanitation notified the former tenants of the cleanup and encouraged them to remove any items that they wished to keep. As a result we were able to clean this large encampment and improve not only the quality of life but the health and wellbeing of Panorama City residents.
Sometimes it’s a fine line between respecting the freedom of the City’s most in need while protecting the health and quality of life for all residents. But I believe that by working with service providers such as the Rescue Mission and focusing on cleaning our streets, we can begin to balance it for the benefit of all of us.