Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and City Councilwoman Traci Park, 11th District, announced on Jan. 4 that the mayor’s new Inside Safe initiative is underway in Venice. Outreach has begun to people living in encampments surrounding the A Bridge Home site at the intersection of Sunset Avenue and Pacific Avenue, and people have already accepted housing. Inside Safe is a new, citywide strategy to bring people inside from tents and encampments for good, and to prevent encampments from returning.
“I’m proud to be locking arms with Councilwoman Park to change the way we approach homelessness in Los Angeles to bring people inside in a strategic and lasting way,” Bass said. “Councilwoman Park and I spent yesterday morning conducting outreach with encampment residents and meeting with service providers and local residents about how Inside Safe replaces quick fixes with real solutions. It’s important that the policy solutions developed are informed by the people most directly affected. Through Inside Safe, we will save lives and restore our neighborhoods.”
“During my campaign, I pledged to pursue a comprehensive approach to working with service providers and city leaders to compassionately get encampments like those surrounding the bridge home the support they need,” Park said. “Putting people in rooms without the care they need doesn’t work. We need to ensure that they have adequate access to services they need including mental health, trauma, and substance use services for the unhoused.”
Community members said Bass and Park are taking the first steps towards keeping promises that were made when the Venice Bridge Home opened.
“It may be impossible to fully understand the depths of despair and trauma associated with long-term encampments unless you’re living in them as an unhoused person or living beside them as a housed neighbor,” Venice resident Connie Brooks said. “Watching fellow humans disintegrating before your eyes nearly every single day for years is indelibly scarring to everyone involved.”
Inside Safe is assessing street homelessness across L.A. and proactively engages with people living in tents and encampments based on which locations are most chronic and where people are most in crisis.
Inside Safe is housing based – people are offered immediate quality housing and a commitment of services and permanent housing so they can stay inside safe for good. The vast majority of people living on the street say “yes” to real offers of housing and support. Mayor Bass’ Inside Safe executive directive calls for the Inside Safe Action Plan to be developed by March 31, 2023.
The program takes aim at five main goals: reducing the loss of life on city streets, increasing access to mental health and substance abuse treatment for those living in encampments, eliminating street encampments, promoting long-term housing stability for people experiencing homelessness and enhancing the safety and hygiene of neighborhoods for all residents, businesses and neighbors.
“This intensive housing intervention will help some of our most vulnerable unhoused neighbors get off the street for good and the support of Mayor Bass, Councilwoman Park and City and County elected leaders is vital to our success,” said Dr. Va Lecia Adams of Saint Joseph’s Center.
To read the Inside Safe Executive Directive, visit mayor.lacity.gov/news/mayor-bass-signs-executive-directive-launching-inside-safe-changing-citys-encampment-approach.