Culver City, California considers criminalizing homelessness

Originally published at: Culver City, California considers criminalizing homelessness | Boing Boing


As the programs are available now, and these unhoused people aren’t using them

This is a key point. Until more tiny house villages and properly renovated motels come on-line throughout the city, no-one wants to take the option of going into the shelters or signing up for a waiting list.

While I understand why cities don’t want to see shantytowns grow further within their jurisdictions, they’re already a fact of life. What the leaders of America’s cities aren’t willing to acknowledge is that these are the 21st century’s equivalent of Hoovervilles, with all the political and economic dysfunction that term implies.


I imagine that the reason why these programs aren’t used more is because homeless folk don’t trust the city to have their best interest at heart. And often these programs have requirements that they cannot meet or would require a lot of effort that they would realistically not be able to qualify. On the ones that they can apply for the help is generally temporary and half-hearted. A city doesn’t view homelessness or low-income high on their list of priorities, nor is it a flashy thing to wave around for politicians on their list of accomplishments :roll_eyes: it’s just easier to bus them elsewhere, send them to jail or ignore the problem.


Culver City’s intent would seem to be to push people into Los Angeles City or County proper and just out of Culver City. The series of small cities inside the greater LA landscape, and then County vs City stuff is just a nightmare. Los Angeles is a very dysfunctional government managing such a large portion of the US general population.


Similar fuckery over here in my state…

In this case, coming from the GOP controlled legislature…


Prisons are “for profit”, there’s no profit in housing desperate people in need.


Kicking people off the street won’t force them to seek help. The houseless shelter/tiny house community in my city doesn’t allow drugs or alcohol on the premises. It also assigns a counselor to help shelter residents get an ID and documents to help get their own residence or employment. Help is available for all but not everyone wants that. Some people prefer the freedom of living in a tent community. Additionally, those with mental health issues may not have the cognitive ability to realize that they have a condition that needs to be addressed. I’m not sure what the answer is but what Culver City is proposing probably won’t work.


This is key. You can’t criminalize camping in the streets without also decriminalizing drugs and pursuing a Housing First policy. Traditional shelters require soberness. As long as you treat drug addiction as a moral failure and don’t give people anywhere else to go, these policies will never work.

Of course, that’s the point. I worked in Culver City for ten years and I watched it go from sleepy middle class borough to wealthy bougie enclave in that time. Policies like this are the inevitable next step of gentrification. They can’t literally build walls to keep out those they don’t like, so they do it with paper instead.



I’ve always believed homelessness should be illegal - in that the State should be held accountable for not having enough resources to get folks housed and off the street. They can grant tax exemption and all sorts of goodies to private industries but drag their feet helping the most needy in their community.

Fucking disgusting.


Nor will it make the resources that the city, state or federal government should be providing magically appear. :woman_shrugging:

How easy do you think it would be to kick an addition (which is difficult in the best of circumstances) while living on the streets?

Is it? Are they provided housing to make it easier to kick addiction and to get a job, etc? Or do they have to prove they are already perfect human beings who “deserve” help to get help?


I have heard of many examples of the requirements being unreasonable or enough of a hassle that people just don’t want to bother. I’m sure there are some that aren’t in a mental place where they want the help but i bet that a goodly portion of them would love to have access to programs but can’t because of some dumb rules and requirements.


They want people to basically be… not human… just paragons of perfection because they need to be “deserving” of help. Everyone deserves help and support though, and as long as some hold the mindset that only the “deserving” poor will get support, then we’re gonna have a homeless problem in America. It’s far easier to improve your life and get the help you need when you already have housing - no questions asked… But far too many people, often people who count themselves as Christians, go all apoplectic when you suggest helping everyone…


I read that as “criminalizing homosexuality”. This isn’t any better, but it’s more plausible and, unfortunately, far more likely to pass.

the shelters are often also far from other services ( and jobs. )

city businesses and the nimby people do not want to see these people at all, so many times shelters wind up being about hiding people without housing, not helping them


Yes, they are. I can’t speak for other areas but was specifically speaking about the resource availability in my city for those who want it.

Are they requiring people to already be off drugs, though, to qualify? Or are there other requirements to get help? Are there maybe other reasons why people are not taking advantage of these resources, such as too many hoops to jump through? There might be plenty of people who want help, tried to get it, and did not qualify for whatever reason. There is also the problem of not trusting the system that has previously screwed them over.


I’ve noticed places around town where i’m at where benches and even covering at bus stops and other spots were taken out as a way to avoid homeless folks spending time there and its infuriating. I get mad for them because they shouldn’t be mistreated like that, but i also get mad for everyone else that would have enjoyed some nice shade and a place to sit or rest.


As someone who very nearly became homeless a few times and could have used various kinds of help, a goodly portion of government programs infuriate me because the process was intensive, required a lot of steps or documentation, etc. They’re designed to basically work on paper, so only a small percentage will qualify and only the most determined will do so, everyone else is out of luck (and on the ones you could apply for they ran out of funding so please wait until next year). I can’t count the times i stared at a website trying to figure out if i qualified and then just gave up because i didn’t have the emotional capacity and energy to try. It was very much the same when i was dealing with my crippling student loan debt, it was literally easier for me to just pay it off.


Really, much of this stuff is made to be this difficult to navigate, so that fewer people apply, and fewer people get the help they need, so that they can justify having fewer services… It’s infuriating. I don’t know how that helps anyone - not the homeless people, not the people who are not homeless who are living in the same area, no one is helped by overly difficult bureaucracy that leads to less services…