City of Malibu Holds Public Meeting on the Impacts of and Potential Strategies to Address Homelessness in the Community - Video Available
The Malibu City Council held a special virtual public meeting to discuss the issue of homelessness in Malibu, its impacts on the community, the measures being taken to address homelessness, current and future challenges, and potential new measures by the City and other entities on Thursday, February 25, 2021. The meeting was a follow-up from the January 29, 2020 special meeting on homelessness.
“Malibu is a compassionate community that strives to balance effective measures to address the humanitarian crisis of homelessness with the need to protect the public health, safety and quality of life of our community,” said Mayor Mikke Pierson. “I am committed to making progress on homelessness in Malibu, and grateful to all of the community members and working partners who participated in the public meeting last week. And while it won’t be easy, I am optimistic that we can make positive change for the benefit of us all.”
During the February 25 meeting, presentations were given by the City’s Public Safety Manager; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; The People Concern, the non-profit that provides homeless outreach for the City; the Homelessness Deputy in Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Office; a formerly homeless community member who now serves as the homeless liaison for the Las Virgenes/Malibu Council of Governments (LVCOG); and a member of the Malibu Homelessness Working Group. Community members shared their perspectives, ideas and concerns in public comments.
The City Council conducted a thorough discussion and took the following actions:
- Directed staff to come back with a community outreach plan to gain more community input on homelessness strategies.
- Directed staff to explore partnerships with other agencies to implement a joint project.
- Interim City Attorney Cotti and Councilmember Silverstein will work together to refine the proposed camping ordinance.
- Directed staff to return with options as identified by City Council members for potential locations for an Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL).
- Another Special City Council Meeting will be scheduled in the coming months to review the results of these recommendations.
Staff also reported on and Council discussed the results of the recent count of the homeless population in Malibu and the City’s recently posted signs on sections of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to enforce the City’s Oversized Vehicle Parking Ordinance and overnight parking restrictions enacted in response to a proliferation of people sleeping in vehicles along the coast in Malibu.
The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which the City participates in each year, was cancelled this year due to the pandemic. However, the Malibu Homelessness Working Group conducted an independent count on February 12, 2021 using the same categories and methodology used by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) for the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count in past years.
The results were as follows:
People on the Street: 58
Makeshift Shelters: 11
The results are mostly consistent with past years but show a significant decrease from last year in the number of people living in their vehicles on PCH. The 2020 Homeless Count showed 132 people living in vehicles, and the 2021 Homeless Count showed 72. This decrease is likely due to the new parking restrictions that the City has implemented in 2020 on parts of PCH.
The overnight parking restrictions prohibit parking on the landward side of PCH from 12:00 AM to 2:00 AM and on the seaward side from 2:00 AM to 4:00 AM in sections of Las Tunas Beach and Zuma Beach. The parking restrictions were meant to address the public safety, health, environmental and beach access impacts of the proliferation over the last several years of cars, RVs, trailers, and vans parked on PCH in which people are sleeping overnight or living. The documented impacts include reducing public access to the beaches for both residents and visitors, which is legally guaranteed under the Coastal Act, reducing parking for residents who live on PCH, safety and crime issues, illegal dumping and leaking of grey water, black water, trash and fuel in the sensitive coastal environment.
All community members are encouraged to watch the video of the February 25 meeting on the City's YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/eNggLLjQAI8, and the staff report is on the website at https://www.malibucity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_02252021-1643. Video of the January 29 meeting is available to view on the YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/yhJOAJt0Nug and the staff report is on the website at https://www.malibucity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/4107?fileID=10736.
To learn more about all of the City's efforts to address homelessness, including the Homelessness Strategic Plan that was adopted by City Council in June 2018, visit the City web page at www.MalibuCity.org/Homelessness.