LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Homeless advocates are planning a rally on Saturday on Hollywood against a new regulations they fear could potentially shut down a food truck that has been feeding the hungry.
But as KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports, some Los Angeles City Council members have taken exception to their claims.
Organizers on Facebook have described the rally as a “peaceful protest against the proposal to ban serving our homeless brothers and sisters” in downtown L.A.
“The motion would bring about ordinances that would make it illegal to feed homeless people in public on a sidewalk,” Mel Tillekaratnuh of Monday Night Mission said.
Councilmen Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell introduced the proposal in September that would restrict non-commercial distribution of food to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other areas.
The Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee motion (PDF) cites “numerous public safety and public health concerns”, including accessibility and street blocking issues.
But O’Farrell denied the motion specifically targets the homeless population and is more concerned with the safety of local residents.
“I have had constituents send me photographs of people defecating in the front yard literally,” he said.
Portable bathrooms and other alternative solutions have been proposed to address Los Angeles County’s burgeoning homeless population of nearly 54,000, second in the nation only to New York.