The City of Redondo Beach has a population reaching about 70,000. This includes a cohort of homeless men, women, and children, a population that has been increasing annually. In more recent years, Redondo Beach has experienced a growth in the number of homeless encampments that crop up with regularity in the community.
Homeless Count in Redondo Beach
The last time a city-specific count of homeless people was undertaken by Redondo Beach was 2012. The count was undertaken by the Redondo Beach Police Department. The total number of homeless people identified in Redondo Beach at this time was 180.
The homeless population has grown at least 300 to 400 percent since the census was undertaken by the police department. This leaves the Redondo Beach homeless count upwards to 700 people.
Redondo Beach has been part of the county-wide annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. As part of this annual census of the homeless population in the county, Redondo Beach is included in what is known as Service Planning Area 8. This area consists of a number of different cities in the county. The total homeless count in is the area in 2017, including Redondo Beach, was 4,282.
The police department has also conducted a survey to garner more information about the demographics of the homeless population in Redondo Beach. Through this survey, the police department gleaned this data:
- 84 percent of the city’s homeless are men
- The majority of homeless people have been in the city for less than a year
- 68 percent are homeless involuntarily
- 63 percent use or abuse alcohol
- 33 percent admitted to a mental condition
- 67 percent had committed a felony or misdemeanor
The Redondo Beach Homeless Task Force
The Redondo Beach Homeless Task Force was comprised of residents of the city. The task force was created to develop collaborative ways to respond to the difficulties and challenges faced not only by homeless people but others as well. These “others” include resident, businesses, neighborhoods, schools, nonprofit organizations, churches, and safety agencies.
The task force ultimately made recommendations. At the heart of these recommendations was a recognition of the need to engage a contracted outreach provider to ensure that all possible and available services and resources were made available to homeless people in Redondo Beach.
The other specific recommendations brought forth from the task force included:
- Facilitate a summit of local service providers to discuss ways to collaborate
- Become a member of the South Bay Coalition for the Homeless
- Initiate a community education program on ways to assist the homeless through volunteering or providing contributions
- Work toward a regional approach if county funding is available
- Implement a more robust system of case management
- Require that service providers funded by Community Block Development Grants agree to train volunteers to perform interviews and assessments of the homeless
Controversy Surrounding Feeding the Homeless
A natural inclination for residents of Redondo Beach, and elsewhere, is to reach out to homeless people and provide them food. The idea of feeding the homeless became a controversial issue among the members of the Redondo Beach Homeless Task Force. Some members of the task force maintained that providing homeless people with food was a humane course of action. The argued that providing homeless people with food was absolutely preferable to handing them money.
Nonetheless, there were people on the task force that took issue with feeding homeless people in the community. For example, a member of the task force stated to the media:
“What we learned was that feeding the homeless is maybe the worst thing we could do. We’re not really helping them get beyond where they are. They really need services. I hope that the people who do feed the homeless get together with social workers and medical professionals who can deal with the problem.”
As of this time, there remains a division among many regarding the usefulness of proving handouts of food to homeless people. Ultimately, if handing homeless people things to eat is keeping them from reaching out to agencies that do provide food and other services, the more long-term interests of homeless people may be hampered. However, it is a simple fact that people need to eat and a ready resource for something is better than nothing.
Homeless Encampment Cleanup in Redondo Beach
Professional homeless encampment cleanup in Redondo Beach is crucial to prevent the spread of disease. The reality is that a homeless encampment will feature serious trash and garbage issues, including human waste like feces, urine, vomit, blood, and other bodily fluids. These types of biohazards can only safely, comprehensively, and thoroughly be remediated through the efforts of a homeless encampment cleanup specialist.