Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Whittier May Join Homeless Settlement To Mandate Shelter, Allow Enforcement

5b96f809d217300008df0010-eight.jpg
Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

The city of Whittier is considering joining a legal settlement in Orange County in hopes of being able to enforce anti-camping laws in exchange for building a homeless shelter.

Last year, the city of Bellflower signed onto the settlement.

Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri says joining the settlement would allow the city to tackle homelessness on a manageable scale, rather than as part of massive Los Angeles County, where nearly 59,000 people sleep on the streets each night.

"[Los Angeles] is a mess, it's an absolute travesty, it's so big," Vinatieri said.

Support for LAist comes from

But Whittier's small size could also be a problem, he said. Without the help of the county, the city might not have enough money to build its own shelters.

“So am I going to cut into the police department to now have to fund homeless housing? That's a tough one for me, personally,” Vinatieri said, adding that law enforcement accounts for nearly half of the city’s budget.

If Whittier does build a shelter, Vinatieri wants it to be for people with ties to the city. In a homeless count conducted by a nonprofit city contractor, over half of the 231 people interviewed said their last permanent address was in Whittier.

GO DEEPER: