(en)LA Times Covers the Santa Monica Housing Takeover

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Sat, 15 Nov 1997 01:34:02 +0000

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LA Times 11/14/97

Santa Monica Activists Protest Lack of Shelter for the Homeless

Homeless rights activists took turns chaining themselves to a boarded-up hotel Thursday in an effort to get the city of Santa Monica to provide emergency shelter during the rain.

Jennnifer Waggoner and Linda Armstrong spent Thursday afternoon chained by their wrists to a pole behind the closed Flamingo Hotel on Ocean Avenue.

They said they planned to stay until an emergency Red Cross shelter or the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was opened to allow homeless people a place to sleep out of the rain.

"We have no place to go, and we're wet and cold and nobody's acting as if this is an emergency," Waggoner said.

Santa Monica homeless services coordinator Tracy Scuggs said the city relies on the cold weather homeless shelters operated by the county, and does not run its own shelters. She said the city does not have the funding to supplement the county's facilities, which are scheduled to open Tuesday on a weather-activated basis.

Paul Rossi, program manager for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which coordinates the shelters, said that after Tuesday, if there is a 50% chance of rain or if the temperature is perdicted to drop below 40, the county opens its 24 winter shelters.

He said there is no provision for opening the shelters sooner. After Dec. 16, he said, the winter shelters are open until Feb. 28.

"If the need arises before [Tuesday] we're in a difficult situation because we don't have the resources available to make the beds available before then," Rossi said.

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