As we work to uplift families out of poverty and homelessness, we must assure their safety from those who seek to harm them. Individuals experiencing homelessness deserve the same rights and respect as anyone in our community, and we are going to fight and protect all Angelenos regardless of their ability, religion, sexual orientation, or their housing status.
COUNCILWOMAN RODRIGUEZ CALLS FOR EXPANSION OF STATE’S HATE CRIME LAW TO PROTECT THE HOMELESS
Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved (15-0) Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’s motion calling on the State of California to expand its hate crime laws to protect those experiencing homelessness. Current policies do not include housing status as a characteristic protected under the state’s hate crime laws.
“As we work to uplift families out of poverty and homelessness, we must assure their safety from those who seek to harm them,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “Individuals experiencing homelessness deserve the same rights and respect as anyone in our community, and we are going to fight and protect all Angelenos regardless of their ability, religion, sexual orientation, or their housing status.”
This resolution comes in part due to recent violent crimes against homeless individuals in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and across the City. On September 30, a homeless man and woman were sleeping in Devonwood Park in Mission Hills when they were doused with acid, causing severe injuries to the pair, and on September 8 to September 24, another man killed four sleeping homeless men and seriously injured four others in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. The victims in these crimes were explicitly targeted because they are experiencing homelessness.
“I applaud Councilwoman Rodriguez and the LA City Council for approving the resolution, which recognizes that people experiencing homelessness are entitled to protections of their health and safety, and that any assaults on those protections will be treated with the utmost seriousness,” said Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. “This measure is another step to ensure people experiencing homelessness receive the dignity and rights that they deserve.”
A 2015 report from the National Coalition for the Homeless found that California led the nation in attacks targeting people experiencing homelessness, noted in a report from the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst.
“As Los Angeles continues to lead the state with results-oriented programs and services, we will continue to be at the forefront to protect the most vulnerable in our community,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.
To read the resolution, click here.