Unhoused Angelenos are being displaced all across the city, often several miles from their original encampment location. Not only does this make traveling to work difficult; it disconnects people from their support systems, friends, family and communities.
In Inside Safe operations, participants wait for hours, days, and sometimes weeks from the time caseworkers announce the program to an offer of shelter. Once the program is in full swing at an encampment, participants must give up their tent for a motel room under the "one tent for one room" rule. This dangerous exchange places domestic abuse victims with their abusers, forces platonic campmates to share a room (sometimes with just one bed), and completely disregards vehicle-dwellers.
After giving up their tent, participants are cleared from their encampment and loaded onto a bus, often without any clue where they are headed. When they arrive at their first motel, there is typically no one to greet them, no orientation or information about next steps, and no food. Some displacements have carceral rules, like lice checks, a 10:00pm curfew, a two-bag limit, no visitors, no visiting each other’s rooms, bag checks, and pat downs. Still others lack basic hygiene items, towels, and bedding. In one motel, participants could hear roaches crawling in the walls when they turned off their lights at night.
In her own statement, Karen Bass directed the Chief of Housing and Homelessness Solutions to work alongside unhoused Angelenos and community organizations. However, we have been completely shut out of the process. Instead of providing accountability and transparency, the Mayor is pursuing no-bid contracts, marketing and red tape.