A The shelter is aimed to temporarily serve up to 50 homeless individuals at a time.
Q. As a Bellflower resident, will I be paying more taxes to fund the temporary shelter?
Q. Who will operate the TSS?
A. City staff is interviewing non-profit service providers that specialize in managing TSS.
Q. Why is the City building a TSS to serve homeless persons in Bellflower?
A. Two reasons. First, the City’s residents made it clear they want the City Council to address the growing homelessness crisis in Bellflower. A Citywide survey conducted in October 2018 showed that 74% of our residents said it was the most serious problem in Bellflower. In short, it’s a clear mandate from the community to fix this crisis.
Second, the City settled a homelessness-related federal lawsuit filed against the city by a homeless advocate group and, in the settlement, (The Catholic Worker of Orange County v. City of Bellflower) Federal District Court Judge David O. Carter ordered the City to build a TSS for 50 persons.
Q. Why the hurry? Why can’t we study this problem further?
Judge Carter ordered the City to complete a plan for the creation of a TSS by December 31, 2019. In order to meet the Court Order, the City must move forward immediately.
Q. Why can’t the City just handle the problem without building a shelter?
A. A decision made by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Martin v. City of Boise, generally prevents cities, including Bellflower, from enforcing so called “anti-nuisance” regulations against homeless person(s) for camping, loitering or sleeping outdoors, unless the city provides temporary emergency shelter for the homeless population. Over the past few years, the City of Bellflower has tried many methods with multiple organizations to solve this problem in our community. We have contracted with two non-profit entities, CityNet and Kingdom Causes, to identify and assist the homeless in finding shelter that can assist the homeless with their challenges and struggles. Though these efforts have been very effective in determining who is from Bellflower and who is not, and determining the root causes of why people are homeless, it is still not legal to enforce our anti-camping, loitering or prohibitions on sleeping outside and is the main reason why our community continues to observe our homelessness crisis in our sidewalks, our parks, our streets, around businesses and near our homes.
Q. Will the TSS attract the homeless from other cities to come to Bellflower?
No. The only homeless people that will be allowed to be housed and supported in the TSS are those who can show proof they are from Bellflower, or have a prior connection to Bellflower. Everyone else who is homeless and not from Bellflower will not be provided help or access to the TSS.
Q. Will this facility actually only be for homeless people with roots from Bellflower?
Yes. The only homeless people that will be allowed to be housed and supported in the TSS are those who can show proof they are from Bellflower, or have a prior connection to Bellflower. Everyone else who is homeless and not from Bellflower will not be provided help or access to our TSS.