For low income, disabled and seniors in Santa Monica the most obvious public transportation issue here is those two tiny flat hot metal seats at bus stops without shade. How in the world did Santa Monica officials do such a mean spirited thing to seniors and disabled with those hideous stops? The only reason I can come up with is that the mean spirited stops are meant to keep homeless people from having any comfort for sitting or lying down at night. Homeless people have no other place that is legal for them to be without being arrested or cited but in public spaces! Not only do poor disabled homeless people have to be in public they have to sit or lay on the ground if they can’t stand up 24 hours a day.
I am frustrated with a society that talks about permanent housing for the homeless but has done nothing but leave tens of thousands of poor disabled people stranded on the sidewalk without any safety or comfort. These new bus stops are perfect examples of actually trying to discomfort homeless people instead of actually fulfilling the promise made 11 years ago in 2003 by the Bring Los Angeles Home 60 person Blue Ribbon commission including Mayor Richard Bloom and at that time a ‘who’s who’ list of mayors, County Supervisors, LA and other local cities Council people, religious leaders, homeless non-profit agencies executive directors, homeless bureaucrats that boldly promised to “end homelessness in ten years.”
Sleep Stations would have protected and stabilized the homeless with shelter plus caseworker management and County medical services at these Stations. In hindsight do you think any of these Bring Los Angeles Home commissioners ever feel any remorse for simply housing a few and turning their back of so many? I hope so. I understand that a new commission is now promising, the same thing in ten years! So if you were poor and disabled 11 years ago and weren’t one of the very lucky few you are probably dead now from neglect!
Just having sold our house in Portland, Oregon, we moved to Santa Monica mid-May and are renting a two-bedroom penthouse, on 5th street between Arizona and Wilshire. We face the back of the building and the alleyway and even though we have a great view of the city and mountains in the distance, we can’t sleep from the bright lights that stay on all night in the back of a small commercial building, lighting the empty, secured parking lot attached to the building.
We contacted the complaint line at Santa Monica’s town hall several times, filed complaints online and waited two months for an answer. When none came we contacted the complaint department again and asked why we had not heard back from them. They assured me that officer, who was assigned to the case, would need to go there during the evening to see it in person. Instead we soon received a case closed email, with the explanation that the officer sent a letter to the offending property owner about turning down their lights or changing them to a lower wattage bulb.
It has been three weeks since that email came from Santa Monica to us and the lights are still on full blast. Nothing has been done and our efforts seemed to have been either ignored, avoided or shunned by the city. We had filed a complaint at the same time about a leaf blower being used at the adjacent commercial property as well, knowing that it was against Santa Monica code and they sent the exact same email to us about that complaint as well. The case was closed, they allegedly sent a letter to the offending property owner and wished us luck. We have photographs as well as iPhone videos and they refused to see any of these, even though they have a time stamp and are proof and could help our case.
We are in a large six story building with 18 apartments facing the back of the building as well, enduring the same fate, unaided by the town of Santa Monica. Some people have taped cardboard on the insides of their windows to prevent the lights form keeping them awake all night, and others have hung black curtains behind the vertical white blinds that come with the units, but the light still seeps in.
The leaf blower is still at it, three weeks after they closed the case, and we feel like the voice of the people in this town is not being heard. It is very depressing and makes us feel like running out of here as soon as possible. Portland was more responsive and more caring in many ways, and one felt they were being heard.