Culver City Bans Homeless Encampments

The Culver City Council voted 3 to 2 this month to prohibit structures like tents on public sidewalks and streets, in parks, and near schools or city-owned property. Unhoused people who set up encampments will receive citations and have their belongings forcibly removed.

The ordinance was supported by Mayor Albert Vera, Councilmember Göran Ericksson, and newly-elected Councilmember Dan O'Brien. They say the situation has gotten out of control and that encampments are both unsafe and inhumane. Increased enforcement measures in neighboring Los Angeles will also force unhoused residents over the border into Culver City, they fear.  

Vice Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, who voted against the ordinance, appeared on NBC’s NewsConference to give her point of view. She said the policy will remove everything but a pillow and blanket from the unhoused with no increase in resources. She also expressed concerns about how the inevitable police presence would impact people of color. 

The ordinance will not take effect until the city meets several benchmarks, including the opening of a new safe-camping site and the conversion of 73 units through Project Homekey. This will ensure the city meets criteria under a landmark 2018 court decision.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.