Update on Homelessness in Whittier
March 8, 2019
Our community is facing considerable challenges with assisting our local homeless population. We want all of our City facilities to be clean, safe locations for our residents and their families to visit, and we want our neighborhoods to continue to live up to the high expectations for quality of life, safety and cleanliness for which Whittier is known. We must also continue to provide support to members of our business community who are affected by the challenges presented by our homeless population and ensure their continued success in our city.
Homeless Action Plan
The City adopted a homeless action plan in 2018 that outlines steps the City will take to coordinate services, expand access to shelter and other resources, and ensure growth in housing that is appropriate to the growth of the population in our community, and includes a variety of additional homeless resources.
Requesting Services for Homeless Individuals
We encourage you to explore the services available through LAHSA and to familiarize yourself with the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal so that you are able to initiate a response from a team of providers dedicated to working together on the challenge of homelessness. In the meantime, the City of Whittier will continue working collaboratively with the County of Los Angeles and other local partners to address calls for service and to help those in need while ensuring that the concerns of our residents and businesses are heard.
Local Service Providers
The LA-HOP portal is the one-stop resource for requesting services for homeless individuals. It is run by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), which is a joint government agency that is responsible for addressing homelessness in our region. The County utilizes what’s known as the Coordinated Entry System (CES) that brings together new and existing County-wide programs and resources in order to connect people experiencing homelessness to the most appropriate housing and services in their respective areas. Whittier is part of Service Planning Area 7 (East Los Angeles) and served by the following agencies:
|PATH: Lead agency assisting single adults experiencing homelessness within our community|
|Whittier First Day: Whittier’s primary homeless service provider working together with PATH to serve local adults|
|Jovenes: Serves transitional aged youth in our community|
|The Whole Child: Serves families in our community|
These are the service providers most likely to respond to the needs of homeless and vulnerable individuals and families in our community.
Whittier Homelessness Consortium
The Consortium on Homelessness is a collaborative network comprised of small groups of activated community members working to address homelessness in our community by facilitating connection, providing information, advocating on behalf of those experiencing homelessness and supporting the collective efforts of community partners and agencies.
A recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (referred to as the Boise case) declared that activities such as sleeping are such basic human needs that citing someone who does not have a home from sleeping on public property constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Because there are not enough shelter beds in our region to house the 204 unsheltered individuals in Whittier, the Boise case prevents the City from enforcing anti-camping or park curfew ordinances.
We are working with homeless services providers and neighboring cities on the development of housing options, including a regional shelter. Finding appropriate sites for these facilities and services is often difficult and expensive, but it is essential for restoring basic human dignity and ensuring access to services for individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
The Whittier Police Department shares our commitment to helping by responding to any report of illegal activity or crime, but also emphasizes the importance of directing homeless outreach requests and inquiries to the LAHSA team and utilizing this County-wide assistance portal to manage the influx of homeless outreach requests.
To report illegal activity, please call the Whittier Police Department at (562) 567-9200. To report abandoned bulky items, graffiti, trespassing and other quality-of-life issues, please call the City of Whittier at (562) 567-9999.