MALIBU (CBSLA) — Although the latest numbers indicate there are now fewer homeless people in Malibu, some locals say the situation in their neighborhoods has only gotten worse.
LA County’s 2018 homeless count found there are 25 fewer homeless people in Malibu as compared to last year — about 150.
Councilman Skylar Peak says it’s thanks to the work of two full-time outreach workers paid through a non-profit by locals.
“They’ve been successful in housing about 30 people since October 2016,” Peak says.
“My experience is it’s not reducing, it’s increasing,” said one local man.
One Malibu resident wasn’t comfortable going on camera, but he told CBS2’s Jo Kwon he believes the homeless population has not only grown, but that’s its grown more violent.
“If you come to the Ralphs here in the evening, sometimes it’s scary,” he said.
The man says homeless people have threatened him while he shops there.
Peak says public safety concerns is what led a homeless meal program at a church to temporarily stop serving meals last year.
“People that were involved in the meal program decided that they were going to pause it and come up with a better plan,” Peak says.
The city wants charitable organizations to take turns hosting meals at the empty LA County Courthouse near the Malibu City Library.
The plan would start every other week and potentially once a week starting in July.
Peak says outreach workers will also be there with security.
“That is what we thought would be a better solution,” Peak says.
While some locals love the idea:
“They really need anything they can get. And any support they can get, I’m for it,” said Luke Campbell, a homeless advocate.
“Anything that attracts more homeless to Malibu, I’m troubled by,” said the man who wanted to remain anonymous.
Peak says the point is to help people in need, not increase their numbers.
“Our goal is not to increase the population here. If we find out that that’s happening, then we’re going to have to change what we’re doing.”