2017 marked a terrible year in regard to homelessness in Culver City. The number of homeless people in Culver City and the Westside jumped by 18 percent, bringing the estimated population of people living on the street to over 5,500. This data was collected as a result of the 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. The results of the 2018 count are slated to be released in the early summer. The data in 2018 is anticipated to demonstrate yet another increase in the homeless population in Culver City and the Westside.
Reasons for Increase in Culver City Homeless Population
Two primary and related reasons are thought to have contributed to the significant increase in the Culver City homeless population. First, there is a shortage of affordable housing in the city. Second, people who once had relatively affordable housing were priced out of their homes due to rent increases.
Overriding issues associated with Culver City housing stock is employment. A notable number of Culver City homeless individuals are employed. Although they have jobs, these individuals are not paid anything close to a living wage in some instances. They simply have found themselves unable to make ends meet.
The Rise of Homeless Encampments in Culver City
There are no homeless shelters within the boundaries of Culver City. There is a trio of homeless shelters within four miles of Culver City. They each provide services to specifically targeted populations:
- Mitchell House: provides shelter and treatment for homeless vets with substance abuse issues.
- Jenesse Center: provides shelter for survivors of domestic abuse.
- Westwood Transitional Village – Salvation Army: provides shelter and long-term support services to homeless families (families can reside here for up to two years).
The lack of shelters within the city, and the closest one being almost two miles away and the other two about four miles, is one of the contributing factors to the increased presence of homeless encampments in Culver City.
Ultimately, some of the homeless population in the community start to cluster together in Culver City homeless encampments. Absent the opening of a larger shelter, that serves a broader segment of the population, the number of homeless encampments in the city is expected to continue to increase.
Homeless Encampment Cleanup in Culver City
By their very nature, homeless encampments result in an ever-increasing amount of trash, human waste, and other pollutants. This includes biohazards that can be detrimental to the health and welfare not only of people living in encampments but to the broader Culver City population.
Regular, professional homeless encampment cleanup in Culver City is the only sure way to manage the waste and filth that arises because of the lack of proper toilet facilities and other conditions at homeless encampments. A professional homeless encampment cleanup ensures the eradication ensures that harmful pathogens, including disease-causing bacteria and viruses, are eliminated.
Why Don’t Homeless People Move From Culver City Closer to Shelters?
Three fundamental reasons exist as to why homeless people do not abandon the city and move closer to homeless shelters. As an aside, bear in mind that most homeless people lack their own transportation, although some do “live” in their cars. Thus, as you will see in a moment, commuting to a shelter that is even a couple of miles away proves problematic.
One reason why homeless people do not live in Culver City is that because this has been their home for some time. Indeed, there are homeless people in Culver City that were born in the community.
Another reason why homeless people stay in Culver City is that because this is where they work. Keep in mind, many homeless people do have jobs. Absent reliable transportation, a homeless person needs to remain in relatively close proximity to his or her employment.
Finally, many homeless people stay in Culver City because of their children. Homeless parents have the same general inclinations of all parents. They want to provide at least some stability for their children. In the absence of a roof over their heads, maintaining some stability means keeping children in the schools they have been attending despite their housing situation.
Culver City Online Forum for Homeless People
There is a Culver City online forum for homeless people. Through this forum, a homeless person or family is able to ask questions and obtain information about services available in Culver City for homeless people. The online forum can be accessed through the link provided above.
Understanding that homeless individuals do not necessarily have ready access to the internet, the Culver City library provides computers and the ability to get on the web. The library is located at:
Culver City Julian Dixon Library
4975 Overland Ave.
Culver City, CA 90230
Photo Courtesy of haymarketrebel.