Intro to Mark Ridley Thomas on Street Outreach

Responding to business and residents’ complaints about the growing number of camps by people experiencing homelessness, the Los Angeles City Council on July 28, by a vote of 13 to 2, passed a new ordinance outlawing such camps in an extensive list of restricted areas.

The ordinance specifies that “it shall be unlawful for a person to sit, lie, or sleep, or to store, use, maintain, or place personal property in the public right-of-way” within two feet of any fire hydrant or fire plug, within five feet of any operational or utilizable entrance or exit, or anywhere within a street. It sets a 500-foot prohibited zone for the listed actions surrounding schools, day care facilities, parks, and libraries.


  • up to 500 feet of a designated overpass, underpass, freeway ramp, tunnel, bridge, pedestrian bridge, subway, wash or spreading ground, railroad track or where lodging unsheltered or in tents is unhealthy, unsafe and incompatible with safe passage; and

  • up to 1,000 feet of a facility opened after Jan. 1, 2018 that provides shelter, safe sleeping, safe parking or navigation centers for persons experiencing homelessness.

Councilmembers Nithya Raman (CD4) and Mike Bonin (CD11) were the two no votes.

Mayor Garcetti signed the ordinance on July 29. It replaces Section 41.18 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

Homeless service agencies and many others opposed the new law as criminalizing homelessness in a significant portion of the city.

It does contain modifying conditions on camp removals. It requires that the full City Council review and vote on each location. Enforcement is supposed to be preceded by visits by “street engagement teams” — social workers, mental health specialists and others who would offer the unhoused shelter and services.

There is uneasiness that these ameliorating requirements may be applied less strictly in some of the city’s 15 Council districts.

The new ordinance was written by councilmembers Paul Krekorian (CD2) and Mark Ridley-Thomas (CD10)

Mark Ridley-Thomas, who has long been a champion of efforts to aid people experiencing homelessness, has, since the July 28 vote, promoted additional amendments to the ordinance, to enhance the humanitarian side of the law. Below is a notice from his Council office with the text of an amendment approved August 12 at the City Council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee and a report on Citywide Street Engagement Strategy.ncil’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee and a report on Citywide Street Engagement Strategy.

From Mark Ridley Thomas' Office
-amendment to the Street Engagement Strategy that was approved August 12 at the Homelessness and Poverty Committee meeting:
-the July 28 Citywide Street Engagement Strategy report: 
-the August 12 PPT presentation to the Homelessness and Poverty Committee which provides revisions to the July 28 report: