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Homeless Engagement Team

Homeless Engagement and Response Team

The L.A. City Attorney’s Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART) runs the L.A. Homeless Court, a criminal record clearing program for people who are either experiencing homelessness or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. HEART helps participants resolve L.A. County infraction tickets for minor violations, such as jaywalking, having an open container, or having expired car registration tags (but not parking citations). These tickets are wiped clean in exchange for service engagement with resources or service providers that offer housing, public benefits enrollment, drug treatment, medical care, or job training. By eliminating the collateral consequences of the unpaid fines and fees from these infraction tickets, HEART helps removed barriers to housing, transportation and employment faced by program participants. HEART is funded with a Measure H grant from the LA County Board of Supervisors.


HEART enrolls approximately 1,000 participants each year, often times resolving multiple infraction tickets for each participant. HEART meets its participants in two main ways. First, HEART enrolls participants at several in-person community events each month, a schedule of which can be found here. Second, service providers can sign-up participants by phone, 213-978-1937, or email:

In 2019, HEART coordinated a large-scale dismissal project to resolve over 2 million outstanding infraction cases in Los Angeles County. The dismissal project provided sweeping relief to members of the County’s most underserved communities, many of whom endured years of the collateral consequences associated with unpaid fines and fees. 

Go to the HEART website.

Review the brochure: Criminal Record Clearing Program (link to PDF)

For people experiencing homelessness needing help with L.A. City parking citations, visit LADOT's Community Assistance Parking Program.

Homeless Patient Dumping

Homeless Patient Dumping

​Patient dumping is when a health facility (hospital or skilled nursing facility) releases or discharges a patient including the homeless onto the streets or to an unlicensed facility (shelter, half-way-house, crisis center) that cannot provide the level care necessary for the patient's recovery. An example is when a wheel chair bound homeless patient has an open leg wound that will need a few weeks of recuperative care to fully recover is discharged to the street where the wound is likely to be come infected, require re-hospitalization and possibly result in the loss of a limb. 

Current law requires hospitals to work with the patient's family when discussing treatment and discharge, to create an appropriate patient discharge plan and to obtain a signed written informed consent from the patient if the hospital is transporting the patient by hospital van,taxi or bus to any location other than the patient's residence, which does not include the street or a shelter. 


The civil law enforcement actions brought by the City Attorney against hospitals and skilled nursing facilities has resulted in those facilities providing monetary assistance to homeless service groups within the City of Los Angeles as well as requiring those facilities to adopt Homeless Patient Discharge Planning Protocol.


Our office also created a patient dumping hotline and we encourage anyone that sees it, or suspects it, to let us know by calling 213-978-8070. 

SAfe Parking

Safe Parking

Safe Parking provides a safe place to park every night while utilizing services for housing. Call 323-210-3375 or visit the City of LA's Safe Parking website.

People using Safe Parking may also qualify for free programs from the Office of the City Attorney. HEART and Clean Slate. Both allow participants to resolve certain non-traffic citations, cases and warrants by engaging in services, instead of paying fines or fees or facing jail time. 

For information about infractions, email HEART or call 213-978-1937. For information about misdemeanors, call the Clean Slate program at 213-978-7878.

LA Door


LA DOOR is a comprehensive, health-focused, preventative approach to addiction that proactively engages individuals at elevated risk of returning to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office on a new misdemeanor offense related to substance use, mental illness, or homelessness. Over 90% of LA DOOR participants are homeless. Rather than waiting to charge new arrests, LA DOOR delivers peer-led, multidisciplinary social services to five "hotspot" locations - one for each day of the week - to proactively engage participants in substance use treatment, mental health support, medical treatment, and case management – all without asking law enforcement to be the first point of contact. Though most participants are engaged through outreach, LA DOOR also offers diversion on eligible non-violent arrests. Participants who go through LA DOOR diversion can take advantage of LA DOOR services instead of having their arrest processed for charging.


To implement LA DOOR, the Office of the City Attorney partners with SSG Project 180 for its outreach and intensive outpatient case management services, West Angeles Community Development Corporation for LA DOOR transitional housing, and the Public Defender’s Office for addressing participants’ legal barriers. Since 2017, LA DOOR has served over 1,500 individuals in South and Central LA, with over 60% completing two months of case management services, over 350 clients receiving field-based substance use treatment, with more than 100 clients linked to detox or residential drug treatment, over 300 receiving mental health care including over 70 people enrolled in intensive outpatient treatment, and over 200 placed into transitional housing including LA DOOR grant-funded housing. LA DOOR is funded by grants from Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. The LA DOOR project is one of several projects created by the City Attorney’s Recidivism Reduction and Drug Diversion Unit. For more information, email Deputy City Attorney Mark Yim.

Project Lead

Project LEAD

The Los Angeles County Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program is based on a national mode where individuals with a history of opioid use are connected with harm reduction services through contacts with law enforcement. In Los Angeles County, the program is operated by the Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) in partnership with Los Angeles Police Department. ODR has previously implemented Project LEAD in the City of Long Beach and is now implementing a pilot program in LAPD Hollywood Division. The goal of the program is to place approximately 100 homeless persons in housing and services over the course of a two year period. 

The LEAD program will identify candidates for this program through social contacts and pre-arrest contacts between individuals and LAPD Hollywood Division’s Coordinated Outreach Resource and Enforcement (CORE) unit which is specially tasked with homeless outreach and enforcement. Referrals into the program are provided exclusively through the CORE team. When an individual is referred through pre-booking diversion, the Neighborhood Prosecutor (NP) will receive notification that an individual has been referred to the LEAD program by the arresting agency and/or the case manager. The NP will then evaluate whether the candidate is eligible for the project based upon the Lead Ineligibility List.

Once admitted into the program, the NP will monitor whether each program candidate has finished the complete assessment intake interview within the 30-day time limit. If the candidate fails to finish the complete assessment intake interview with the case manager within 30 days, the NP will file criminal charges if the case otherwise meets criminal filing standards.

The NP will also conduct a holistic analysis of the participants criminal history by identifying pending criminal cases, including probation violation matters, outstanding warrants, and as best as possible, new arrests of all LEAD participants. The NP may coordinate with other prosecutors in Los Angeles County in all other pending criminal matters involving LEAD participants, to aid them in exercising their prosecutorial discretion in a way which will best encourage behavior change. ​For more information, email Neighborhood Prosecutor Ethan Weaver

Misdemeanor Mental Health Diversion / Rapid Diversion Program

Understanding that some individuals are better served by mental health services and treatment instead of incarceration, pre-plea diversion under AB 1810 is an innovative approach to dealing with offenders who suffer from mental illness and - in many instances - are experiencing homelessness.


The Rapid Diversion Program ("RDP") expedites evaluation for AB1810 diversion and connection to treatment. Funded with a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, led by the Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) Initiative, and in partnership with many local agencies, RDP is a collaborative effort to efficiently and effectively address the root causes of behavior.  In RDP, an LA County Department of Mental Health expert is able to recommend the defendant for pre-plea diversion under AB 1810. A defendant who complies with the conditions of diversion will have their case dismissed. This approach can yield significant benefits: reducing pretrial incarceration rates for those suffering from mental illness; decreasing costs related to the incarceration of those suffering from mental illness; increasing service linkage rates for justice-involved individuals suffering from mental illness; and ultimately, lowering recidivism rates for those suffering from mental illness. For more information, email Central Operations' Supervisor Kelly Boyer.

Clean Slate Program

Unresolved misdemeanor cases or warrants may prevent an unhoused person from getting a job or housing. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s "Clean Slate" program aims to solve this issue.


With Clean Slate, social service providers identify unhoused clients who have unresolved misdemeanor cases that are under the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles. If there are no ongoing public safety issues, a member of the HEART team works with defense counsel to resolve the cases – these resolutions encourage the client to continue working with their service provider to move out of homelessness (e.g., obtaining IDs, attending counseling sessions, applying for housing or a job, etc.). After the client completes this work, the misdemeanor cases are often dismissed.  This allows the unhoused client to move into housing or employment with a clean slate. 

Email HEART for more information or call 213-978-1937.

Motel Conversions

Motel Conversions

On April 20th, 2018, Ordinance 185489 became effective and amended Sections 12.03, 14.00 and 151.02 of the LA Municipal Code which established regulations to facilitate the use of existing hotels and motels for Supportive Housing or Transitional Housing for persons experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness. Further, LAMC Section 14.00.A.12 facilitates the interim use of existing transient residential structures, such as Motels, Hotels, Apartment Hotels, Transient Occupancy Residential Structures and Hostels as Supportive Housing or Transitional Housing for persons experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness. 

All projects must meet the zoning, compliance and performance standards described in the Guidelines For Plan Check and Permit Requirement for Interim Hotel and Motel Conversion Projects, which also provides guidance about the plan check and permitting process.

For more information, email Assistant City Attorney and Director of Homelessness Policies & Strategies Gita O'Neil.

Helpful Definitions

Helpful Definitions


Proposition HHH Supportive Housing Loan Program (Prop HHH) passed in 2016 and is designed to develop supportive housing for homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness throughout the City. In 2016, Los Angeles voters overwhelmingly voted for a $0.348 per square foot property tax which funds the $1.2 billion dollar bond measure. The program emphasis is on reducing homelessness by creating safe and affordable housing units, and increasing accessibility to a variety of necessary services and treatment programs. Further details and up to date progress on what is being constructed can be found on the Supportive Housing Website (link to website).


This County measure passed in 2016 with funding that started July 2017. This measure raised the County sales tax by one-quarter (1/4) of a cent. The revenues go to provide services for the homeless. The tax applies to all the cities within the County of Los Angeles and is in effect for ten years. The County’s plan for the funds is detailed on the LA County Homeless Initiative Website (link to website).


This model offers permanent housing as quickly as possible for people experiencing homelessness, particularly for people with long histories of homelessness and health challenges. Income, sobriety, and/or participation in treatment (or other services) is voluntary and are not required as a condition for housing. The model’s basis is the philosophy that the best chance a person has of not returning to homelessness, is to provide housing options as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not any underlying behavioral and/or medical issues have been resolved.


“CES” is a regionally based system that connects new and existing programs into a “no wrong-door network” by assessing the needs of individuals/families/youth experiencing homelessness. CES then links them with the most appropriate housing and services options to end their homelessness. The goal of the CES is to streamline the processes through which communities assess, house, and support housing retention for individuals/families who are homeless. The CES system prioritizes the sickest, most vulnerable homeless people first and gives them priority over others experiencing homelessness. For various reasons, not all service providers participate in the CES.


24 hour emergency shelter to be utilized by eligible homeless individuals as identified through the CES. Some service or access to services are provided on site or nearby. The intention of this type of housing is to provide individuals with some stability so that they can more easily maintain contact with their service providers as they are assisted with finding housing.


"PSH" is long term, community based housing that has supportive services for homeless persons with disabilities. This type of supportive housing enables the special needs population to live as independently as possible in a permanent setting with supportive services on site. Permanent Housing can be provided in one structure or in several structures at one site or in multiple structures at scattered sites. 


The City defines a homeless encampment as one or more persons living or storing personal property in an unsheltered area.


"LAHSA" is the lead agency in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care, which is the regional planning body that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals in Los Angeles County. LAHSA is a joint powers agreement between the County and the City. In 1993, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles mayor and City Council created LAHSA as an independent, joint powers authority. LAHSA coordinates and manages over $300 million annually in federal, state, county, and city funds for programs that provide shelter, housing, and services to people experiencing homelessness. LAHSA gets a high percentage of the Measure H funding (see below).


"SPA" is a specific geographic region within Los Angeles County. Due to the large size of LA County (4,300 square miles), it has been divided into 8 geographic areas. These distinct regions allow the Department of Public Health to develop and provide more relevant public health and clinical services targeted to the specific health needs of the residents in these different areas.


Interim housing provides short-term stays and various services for people experiencing homelessness until they are connected with permanent housing. Interim housing includes shelters, where people can stay up to six months, and transitional housing, where people can stay up to two years.


A building where housing linked to Supportive Services is offered, usually for a period of up to 24 months, to facilitate movement to permanent housing for persons with low incomes who may have one or more disabilities, and may include adults, emancipated minors, families with children, elderly persons, young adults aging out of the foster care system, individuals exiting from institutional settings, veterans, and homeless people.


Services that are provided on a voluntary basis to residents of Supportive Housing and Transitional Housing, including, but not limited to, a combination of subsidized, permanent housing, intensive case management, medical and mental health care, substance abuse treatment, employment services, benefits advocacy, and other services or service referrals necessary to obtain and maintain housing.


Vulnerability Index–Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT), which is intended to assess the level of a person’s need, regardless of whether he or she already has a long history of experiencing homelessness. This tool is used to see if someone is "high acuity"- meaning very sick or in danger of becoming very sick or "low acuity" meaning not very sick and a low risk of becoming very sick. The CES system prioritizes those people the VI-SPDAT asseses as high acuity. 


OHS was implemented in 2012 as a robust homeless community outreach program designed to provide adequate notice and identify high-risk people in need of services and assistance. The City of Los Angeles developed and deployed this program with specialized teams from LA Sanitation (LASAN), the Bureau of Street Services, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, and other agencies to effectively reduce the impacts of encampments in the Skid Row area and the Venice Beach Area on public health, fire hazard, hazardous materials, and safety.


On October 1, 2019, LA Sanitation’s Livability Services Division launched the Comprehensive Cleaning and Rapid Engagement (CARE/CARE+) program providing CARE and CARE+ teams for immediate, dedicated service deployed regionally. These teams conduct citywide encampment clean-ups along with trash, litter/debris, and health hazard and/or safety hazard removal on the City's public rights-of-way. The primary mission of the CARE and CARE+ teams is to deliver services to the individuals experiencing homelessness within their service areas.


CARE+ teams assigned to A Bridge Home Special Enforcement and Cleaning Zones (ABH SECZs) provide full comprehensive cleanings including the identification, documentation, and removal of line-of-sight health and/or safety hazards, the removal of trash, litter, and debris, and the power washing of public rights-of-way to ensure fully sanitized areas for public safety.


Additionally, the CARE teams assigned to ABH SECZs provide L.A.M.C. 56.11 compliance, spot cleaning services, health hazard and/or safety hazard identification, documentation, and removal, trash, litter, and debris removal. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Homelessness in Los Angeles


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that communities receiving federal funds from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program conduct a count of all sheltered people in the last week of January annually. This effort is called the Point in Time Count or “PIT” count. During these point-in-time counts, communities are required to identify whether a person is an individual, a member of a family unit, or an unaccompanied youth under the age of 18 or age 18 to 24. In addition, communities must identify if a person is chronically homeless, indicating long-time or repeated homelessness and the presence of a disability.


In the City and County of Los Angeles, LAHSA does the PIT count. For 2022, the PIT count in the City of Los Angeles was 13,522 sheltered PEH, 28,458 unsheltered PEH, for a total of 41,980 PEH. This count is up 1.7 percent since 2020. An unsheltered homeless person resides in a place not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings (on the street). A homeless person who is “sheltered” lives in emergency, interim or bridge shelter/housing. For more details go to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority 2022 Greater LA Homeless Count Data (link to website).


You can report the tent encampments to 311 if you believe there are unsanitary conditions at the encampment and the City needs to clean up there area. You can also report the encampment location to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Homeless Outreach Portal (link to website) and LAHSA will send outreach workers to offer services to the individuals living there. If you believe there is criminal activity going on in the encampment, you can also report the encampment location to your local LAPD station.


It is not against the law for anyone to sleep in a parked vehicle during the day or over night.


LAMC 85.02 made it an infraction to dwell or live in a vehicle in certain zones in the City. However, this section expired on January 1, 2020 and is no longer enforceable.


From the June 22, 2017 Planning Department report on the use of existing parking lots for "safe parking:" (PDF)



During the December 7, 2016 meeting of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, the Department of City Planning was directed to prepare and present an ordinance to the City Planning Commission to effectuate the establishment of a Safe Parking Pilot Program (SPPP) as part of the City’s Comprehensive Homeless Strategy 6B. The SPPP would allow for overnight parking at pre-determined off-street locations for homeless individuals who currently sleep in their vehicles as a form of shelter, subject to operational guidelines currently in development with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). The SPPP would offer such individuals a safe area to legally park on an overnight basis, as well as a stable location where outreach teams and case managers can access clients and connect them to services and permanent housing. Hours of operation would vary on a lot-by-lot basis at the discretion of the property owner, with the expectation that participants would vacate privately owned parking lots during normal operating hours (e.g. from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.), or vacate publicly owned parking lots at posted hours in order to allow for the lots’ original intended use. In any case, vehicles must be removed from the premises during the day, as continuous habitation in a vehicle on private or public property is not authorized without additional approvals from the City.

This report outlines the circumstances in which a property owner or tenant could provide overnight access to their existing parking lot for individuals who sleep in their vehicles. This is distinct from operating a shelter for the homeless, for which the regulations in LAMC 12.80, 12.81 and 14.00 A.8 would apply. Under the current regulations, overnight parking is already permitted in certain circumstances. The report also outlines the current procedures that may be utilized should there be existing project conditions that need to be addressed or should a special permit be required.

Applicability of Current Regulations

Property owners must comply with all applicable parking requirements as described in LAMC Section 12.21 A.4 as well as any additional limitations on overnight parking that apply to each respective property (i.e. Commercial Corner Developments, conditions of approval), but otherwise are not restricted from allowing individuals to park their vehicles overnight in on-site parking spaces. Generally, property owners choosing to make their parking facilities available for overnight parking may do so without violating any part of the Zoning Code as long as the parking is not continuous and is only during night time hours. Property owners would still be responsible for ensuring that all nuisance laws are observed, as well as any other applicable Building, Fire, Disabled Access, Health, and Safety Codes.

As referenced above, a property’s parking lot may be used to accommodate some vehicles overnight without violating its previously-approved use, unless site-specific conditions of approval exist. Overnight parking must take place in an existing, permitted parking lot. The property may not be a vacant lot. Furthermore, the Code does not prevent a facility, upon the property owner’s discretion, from opening its doors overnight to allow use of the bathroom and other indoor facilities.

However, if additional services are provided, there may be other existing regulations pertaining to allowable uses that may need to be considered. For example, in cases where temporary structures are utilized on the site of a participating Safe Parking area, the applicant may need to secure a permit from the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). These permits are available at the Department’s permitting counters located in the Metro, Van Nuys, West Los Angeles, San Pedro and South Los Angeles offices. Additional information regarding permits and requirements may be obtained from the LADBS website at

Plan Approval Process for Sites Subject to Conditions of Approval

One possible barrier for sites wishing to provide safe overnight parking would be if the project site is subject to specific conditions of approval as part of a prior planning entitlement which limit overnight use of the site’s parking facilities. For example, a project may have a condition requiring the gates to be closed by a certain time.

In such a scenario, the applicant would need to seek a plan approval to modify the conditions of approval. Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Section 12.24 M provides that “for any lot or portion of a lot on which a deemed- approved conditional use is permitted pursuant to the provisions of this section, new buildings or structures may be erected, enlargements may be made to existing buildings, and existing uses may be extended on an approved site provided that plans are submitted to and approved by the Zoning Administrator, the Area Planning Commission, or the City Planning Commission, whichever has jurisdiction at the time."

Properties Located in a Commercial Corner Development or Mini-Shopping Center


Properties may be subject to additional limitations on hours of operation if they are located in a Mini-Shopping Center ora Commercial Corner Development as those terms are defined in LAMC Section 12.03, pursuant to LAMC Sections 12.22 A.23 and 12.24 W.27. If a property is subject to these regulations, it would require a conditional use permit in order to operate between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. If the property does not already have a conditional use permit for this purpose, it would be required to apply for one following the procedures described in that Section prior to allowing individuals to utilize the parking lot overnight.

Recreational Vehicles

When used exclusively on a temporary overnight basis on a publicly or privately owned parking lot, a Recreational Vehicle (RV) would not be restricted by the applicable City and State regulations, unless otherwise stated. The Zoning Code does not differentiate between the use of a vehicle or RV for this purpose, as approvals for RV Parks and Mobilehome Parks are required when the individual parking spaces or RVs are rented or leased to users (LAMC Section 12.03). Thus, property owners may choose to make their parking facilities available for temporary overnight parking for RVs. Property owners may not, however, lease or rent out space in their parking lots to users. Additionally, users may not dwell in their RVs for longer than one day. Just as for a vehicle, RVs would be required to vacate the property during the day, as continuous habitation in a vehicle on private property is not allowed without additional approvals, and would only be allowed in specific zones.


Overnight parking at off-street locations is permitted in certain circumstances. At a property owner’s discretion, parking facilities may be made available for overnight parking for individuals who sleep in their vehicles as a form of shelter. The process for operating a safe parking facility may differ based on individual circumstances, but generally would occur in one of three ways:

1) If no plan approval or other entitlement is needed and no additional structures are provided onsite, a property owner may provide overnight parking on-site, subject to any other existing restrictions or existing conditions of approval.

2) If a property owner wishes to provide on-site structures and amenities, then a permit may be required from the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). Applicants should inquire at a LADBS permitting counter located in the Metro, Van Nuys, West Los Angeles, San Pedro or South Los Angeles offices.

3) If a plan approval or other entitlement is needed in order to amend prior conditions of approval, an applicant must submit an application to the Department of City Planning. After the plan approval or other entitlement has been secured, the property owner may provide overnight parking on-site.

If you have any questions, please email Matthew Glesne of the Citywide Policy Planning Division, Department of City Planning or call him at 213-978-2666.


Homeless people can do the same things housed people can do. The Constitution applies to everyone. "Loitering" is a specific intent crime which means a person is waiting or hanging out somewhere for the specific purpose of committing a crime. For example, a person is "loitering" if he or she is standing outside of a business waiting to commit a robbery on a patron coming out.  A homeless person can stand outside a business in the same way a housed person can. If the person is committing a crime, then store security or LAPD should be notified.


A person, whether he/she is housed or unhoused, shall not intimidate customers of a store in an illegal manner. Store security or LAPD should be notified.


There is a First Amendment right for anyone (housed or unhoused) to ask for money, work or other things. There are local laws that ban solicitation in certain areas and also laws that regulate the manner in which the solicitation is asked for meaning it cannot be in an aggressive or physically threatening way.


If there is an encampment on your school’s property, notify the school administrator and security immediately. You can also notify your local LAPD station. If the tent encampment is on City property (sidewalk, parkway, etc.), please see FAQ on how to report a homeless encampment. You can also report an encampment within 500 feet of a school or daycare to your local LAPD division.


There are rules that regulate people camping and using park property. You can contact the park director and the park rangers. You can also notify your local LAPD station. However, homeless people can use park property in the same way that housed people can. They are allowed to sleep on the grass, picnic and use the restrooms, etc. while the park is open.