City Council Direction for Camping Ordinance & Exploring Safe Camping

Published on December 22, 2022

Culver City Seal

At the December 21, 2022 Special City Council Meeting, City staff provided a Presentation to the City Council regarding homelessness in the community(PDF, 1MB).  The City Council discussed whether to implement an ordinance which prohibits camping in public spaces, similar to Santa Monica’s ordinance.  Specifically, staff was directed to engage in the following efforts:

Safe Camping Site

City staff will begin work to locate property for a safe camping site. People staying at a safe camping site will have access to restrooms, showers, garbage collection, 24/7 security, weekly laundry service, weekly access to healthcare services and 24/7 staff to connect them with Los Angeles County Health Services and Los Angeles County Mental Health and to secure long-term housing.  The goals of the safe camping site are similar to City of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’s “Inside Safe” program. Culver City’s programs will support the following goals:

  • Reduce the loss of life on our streets;
  • Increase access to mental health and substance use treatment for those living in encampments;
  • Eliminate street encampments;
  • Promote long-term housing stability for people experiencing homelessness; and
  • Enhance the safety and hygiene of neighborhoods for all residents, businesses, and neighbors.

Introduction of an Ordinance that Prohibits “Camping” in Public Places in Culver City

The City Council will consider introduction of an Ordinance to prohibit camping in public places. Consideration of the draft Ordinance is tentatively scheduled for January 23, 2023.

City Council directed staff to draft this proposed Ordinance so that it is similar to the City of Santa Monica’s Ordinance prohibiting camping in public places.  The proposed ordinance will identify public places, such as public parks, public buildings, public parking lots, public streets and sidewalks, and public landscaped areas where camp facilities are prohibited.  Camp facilities will include temporary physical structures, tents, cots, and beds.  Sleeping bags, blankets, bedrolls, and pillows will not be prohibited.  The Ordinance will also authorize the City Council to designate specified public places where camping is allowed. Enforcement of the ordinance would involve removal of prohibited structures and equipment, but it does not involve the removal of unhoused persons. 

Pallet Housing

The City Council will revisit a discussion on “Pallet” housing: temporary, portable dwelling units with onsite wraparound supportive services.

Long-Term Leasing of Local Motels

City staff will initiate conversations with Culver City motel owners to potentially obtain long-term leases to serve unhoused individuals and will return to City Council with potential options regarding such a program.

Project Homekey Sites

The City anticipates opening two Project Homekey sites at 3686 and 3900 Sepulveda Boulevard, with a projected opening date in February 2023. These sites will provide 73 units for interim, permanent supportive housing, and comprehensive social services. 

Ongoing Efforts to Support Unhoused Individuals

According to the 2022 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, an estimated 350 people experience homelessness in the community.  In an effort to assist people experiencing homelessness in Culver City, the Housing and Human Services Department collaborated with the Advisory Committee on Housing and Homelessness on a number of initiatives. On July 9, 2018, the City Council approved the Updated Plan to Prevent and Combat Homelessness.

Culver City’s Goals and Supporting Actions

  1. Increase Bridge Housing Options and the Number of People Served
  2. Expand Homelessness Prevention Programming
  3. Increase Access to Affordable and Supportive Housing Across the City
  4. Enhance Data Tracking and Homeless Outreach Activities Among City Staff and Service Provider
  5. Expand Community Education Efforts Around Homelessness and Raise Awareness About Available Resources and Best Practices
  6. Create Local Programs to Increase Workforce Training and Job Opportunities
  7. Enhance Local and Regional Coordination

By accomplishing these important goals, the City is demonstrating its commitment to prevent homelessness in our community.  Learn more about how the City is Addressing Homelessness in Culver City.

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