"Los Angeles needs mission-driven, accountable, even impatient leadership on homelessness — leadership that
is both focused and empowered to make things happen."
- City Attorney Mike Feuer: LA Times Op-Ed:
L.A. needs a homelessness czar (link to op-ed)
Homeless Engagement and Response Team
Our Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART), in partnership with the LA County Public Defender’s Office, runs a criminal record clearing program for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness. HEART deploys alongside the public defenders to park spaces, shelters, service providers, and libraries to host mobile legal clinics – essentially bringing the Court to the streets. HEART helps participants resolve infraction citations for minor violations, such as jaywalking, having an open container, or having expired car tags. These tickets are wiped clean in exchange for service engagement with onsite resources, such as housing, benefits, drug treatment, medical care, and job training. The public defenders help participants expunge past misdemeanor and felony convictions and connect with counsel for active cases. This community engagement is funded by the LA County Board of Supervisors, which recently awarded HEART nearly $1 million dollars to conduct this innovative legal work. Last year HEART hosted 56 clinics, engaged 1,200 participants, facilitated the resolution of 1,102 cases and connected 1,112 to homeless case managers.
Recently LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and LAPD Chief Michael Moore partnered to void over two million low-level and uncollectible citations that were over five years-old. This will unclog the courts while also stopping this detrimental cycle of arrest – citation – penalty that so many people experiencing homelessness and poverty find themselves in. HEART is continuing to rectify this cycle through the LA County Homeless Court Program.
Email HEART for more information or call 213-978-1937
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. On November 5, 2018, at the California Endowment, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and the Hospital Association of Southern California convened health care providers, social service agencies and other community experts at a symposium entitled "Addressing the Challenge of Homeless Patient Discharges."
Significant Homeless Dumping Cases: Press Releases
7/2/2018: LA City Attorney Mike Feuer and District Attorney Jackie Lacey Secure Settlement with Silver Lake Medical Center over Allegations of Homeless Patient Dumping; will co-host summit to address challenges of discharging homeless patients
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 two free programs from the Office of City Attorney Mike Feuer: 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 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 80% 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, physical healthcare, 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 pre-booking diversion on eligible Prop 47 drug arrests. Participants who go through pre-booking 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 and Ms. Hazel’s House for LA DOOR transitional housing, and the Public Defender’s Office for addressing participants’ legal barriers. From January 2018 to March 2019, LA DOOR assisted 451 individuals in South LA, with 281 completing two months of case management services, 164 receiving substance use treatment, 81 receiving mental health care, 64 receiving physical health care, 33 receiving legal support, and over 100 receiving housing support. LA DOOR has operated in South LA (Southwest, Southeast, and 77th LAPD Divisions) since January 2017, is expanding into Central LA (Central, Rampart, and Newton LAPD Divisions) beginning in January, 2020. LA DOOR is funded through $12 million in Proposition 47 grants. 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 Supervising Attorney Jamie Larson or Senior Program Administrator Kyle Kirkpatrick.
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
Funded with a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, and in partnership with many local agencies, this is another innovative approach to dealing with low-level offenders who suffer from mental illness and - in many instances - are experiencing homelessness. Understanding that these individuals are better served by mental health services and residential treatment - housing - instead of incarceration, an LA County Department of Mental Health expert will be 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. Since May, 69 people have been accepted into this program. For more information, email Central Operations' Assistant Supervisor Kelly Boyer or email Central Operations' Senior Legal Clerk Betty Nisly.
Clean Slate Program
Unresolved misdemeanor cases or warrants may prevent a homeless 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 homeless 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 Neighborhood Prosecutor 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 homeless client to move into housing or employment with a clean slate.
For more information, email LAPD Valley Bureau Neighborhood Prosecutor Todd Gilman.
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.