Updated: April 10, 2020 at 9:00 AM
The City has been closely working with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) as well as city and county partners to develop and implement a coordinated COVID-19 response related to people experiencing homelessness. Currently, there are about 60,000 people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County, 236 of whom reside in Culver City.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued interim guidance on responding to COVID-19 among people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. HUD also maintains prevention and guidance response for homelessness service providers. Serving people who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness is extremely important because those without shelter, especially those who also have certain underlying medical conditions, are at greater risk for severe disease. Outdoor settings may allow people to increase distance between each other, but sleeping outdoors often does not provide protection from the environment, easy access to hygiene and sanitation facilities, or connections to healthcare. In addition to the City providing existing homeless services, City staff are collaborating with neighboring cities and developing creative solutions with Culver City businesses.
City staff, along with the Culver City Police Department’s Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) have conducted outreach and will continue to reach out to people in the City currently experiencing homelessness to provide the following important information:
- Up-to-date information from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health about the recent spread of COVID-19 in the area
- Social distancing recommendations and advice to avoid crowded areas
- Hand hygiene instructions, cough etiquette instructions, and advice not to share personal items
- How to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you are sick
- What to do if friends, family, or community members are sick
- How to isolate if you have symptoms
- Updated information on where to find food, water, hygiene facilities, regular healthcare, and behavioral health resources
In addition to providing unsheltered residents with important information relating to COVID-19, a Culver City team made up of CCPD MHET, firefigher paramedic personnel, and City staff perform weekly outreach to check in on individuals living in encampments and in their vehicles. To date, the City outreach team has passed out hand sanitizers, ensured the installation of three hand washing stations at the City’s largest encampment, and has partnered with Grace Diner and Culver Palms Methodist to distribute education and hand sanitizers with their to-go dinners. The team continues provide individuals with information about LAHSA’s extended Winter Shelter program and is actively working to bring portable toilets to the location. Regional efforts have ensured that there are hand washing stations throughout Los Angeles County. During this pandemic, staff is committed to outreach to and protecting our unhoused communities throughout the City.