Councilman Dee Andrews holds agenda item to help Long Beach economic refugees
2009-08-26 · By Editor
Update August 31, 2009.
Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews is pulling the agenda item on Tuesday, September 1st City Council meeting in regards to the Long Beach economic refugees.
“This issue requires much consideration from our City Councilmembers and due to the time needed for the Budget, this will not allow Council the proper amount of time to deliberate on this important issue”, said Councilman Andrews. “I will be bringing this item back to Council after the 2010 Budget is passed.”
Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews is putting forth an agenda item on Tuesday, September 1, 2009, City Council meeting to help Long Beach economic refugees.
Currently, throughout the city, there are many people who are living in their cars. They are in the shadows of society living in fear. Council member Andrews will attempt to get his colleagues in agreement that the City has a real problem on their hands and the need to come together to assist the destitute is now.
The agenda item directs City Staff to recommend a variety of restrictions and safety implementations, including a minimal standard for prior proof of Long Beach residency.
The existing city law effectively criminalizes living in one’s vehicle and the Councilman’s goal is to create special zones within the city that those that are economically stressed can sleep safely in their vehicles. These zones would include municipal properties, parking lots of churches or community based organizations, industrial areas, and other areas that would have minimal impact on residential communities.
Councilman Andrews stated, “We are in a new era of poverty and homelessness in our nation, state and our great city. Everywhere I look, I see Long Beach economic refugees seeking basic assistance in support of their life. Many of our neighbors have lost their jobs, their homes, and their support network. Many people are left with no choice but to live in their vehicles as they try to get back on their feet. We are all a few paychecks away from being in the same situation”.
The City of Long Beach would not be the first to help address this problem, Eugene Oregon, and the County of Santa Barbara have developed a compassionate community strategy to allow people to safely sleep in their cars.
For more information, call the office of Councilman Andrews at (562) 570-6816.