Community Health: Homed Who Live Next to Homeless Encampments . by Alice B. Clagett

Published on 17 August 2019

Dear Ones,

As you may know, California is a Sanctuary State for the nation’s homeless. Here in Los Angeles, there are 50,000 to 60,000 homeless people. Homeless encampments, though small, are a prevalent feature of the urban landscape. In addition, there are homeless communities in the mountains, which pose an issue of possible fire during our annual fire seasons.

For some years now I have been active in Neighborhood Watch in my neighborhood, and also keep abreast of my larger neighborhood through NextDoor … https://nextdoor.com/ … Lately, I have begun attending local monthly Neighborhood Council and Topanga Los Angeles Police Department community meetings as well. These have helped me get a better grasp of the problems our city faces.

It seems to me there is concern for personal safety among homeowners and their families who live next to homeless encampments in Los Angeles. On mulling over this issue, I came to understand the depth of despair of fathers and husbands who have invested their life savings in providing homes for their families, and whose wives and children can no longer safely leave home at night, because of homeless encampments on their sidewalks or in treed or grassy areas nearby.

It occurred to me that passive defense systems might offer an alternative to taking the law into one’s own hands on behalf of family safety.

Along these lines, I thought homeowners might consider installing floodlights that illuminate terrain between them and the homeless encampments at night, so that their families could feel safe to walk out of their houses. I also wonder if high fences around homeowners’ yards might help.

Housing codes regarding the height of property fences can cause trouble with safety in these times, as those who wrote the codes could not have foreseen the current difficulty. Maybe property fencing codes could be got round by using temporary construction fencing in the yard? Maybe it might be sensible to go ahead and put up high fences around the home, with the agreement of one’s neighbors, since getting the codes changed may take some time.

In addition, I thought, it might be possible to install perimeter electronic alarms, that would provide a warning if the yard is trespassed on?

My hope is that others will come up with thoughts on passive defense systems for homed families as well.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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homelessness, community health, safety, crime, Los Angeles, despair, protection, crime prevention, courage,

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