Tag Archives: LAHSA

Update On Using CPRA To Get Advance Notice Of Homeless Encampment Cleanups: In Theory It’s Working Fine, But In Practice Not So Much


Previous installments in this series:


LA Sanitation getting honored in City Hall in 2015.  Just one time maybe they could try cleaning up 200 N. Spring Street and catering a meal at a homeless encampment instead of the other way around.  We'd all be better off, friends.
LA Sanitation getting honored in City Hall in 2015. Just one time maybe they could try cleaning up 200 N. Spring Street and catering a meal at a homeless encampment instead of the other way around. We’d all be better off, friends.
This morning I have to report to you two developments in my ongoing project to use the California Public Records Act to get the City of Los Angeles to publicly release advance notice of its planned cleanups of homeless encampments. First of all, on October 31 I made yet another request for various kinds of records dated in the future. On November 8, Letitia Gonzalez sent me a number of items, which I’ll share with you below. You may recall that Letitia was responsible for my one success so far in this project, sending me notice on September 28 of a cleanup on September 29. However, this time, not so much. After the break there’s a list of what she sent, what I asked for, and what I think it means.1 There are also some emails from the Central City East Association (part of the material published on Thursday) showing that LA Sanitation does give advance notice of cleanups in some cases.
Continue reading Update On Using CPRA To Get Advance Notice Of Homeless Encampment Cleanups: In Theory It’s Working Fine, But In Practice Not So Much

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LAHSA’s Erroneous Zombie Eleven Percent Increase in City Homeless Population Resurrected in Two Recent Council Motions Despite May 2016 Retraction

Bob Blumenfield, Councilmember from CD3, providing yet another example of how hard it is to find good staff.
Bob Blumenfield, Councilmember from CD3, providing yet another example of how hard it is to find good staff.
Earlier this year LAHSA announced with much fanfare and gnashing of the old dental protrusions that the homeless population of the City of Los Angeles had increased by 11% year over year. Well, in May Eric Garcetti pointed out that math is hard and after a bunch of frantic recalculations as reported in the Times here everyone, Garcetti’s office and LAHSA in the person of E.D. Peter Lynn, settled on a revised figure of about a 5% increase in the City.

But then in June 2016 Hillel Aron used the 11% figure in the L.A. Weekly, although he retracted it promptly when the error was pointed out to him.1 and I thought that would be the end of it. However, this past week brought us two new Council files supplementary to the Homelessness Crisis file. These are CF 15-1138-S12, moved by Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson and CF 15-1138-S13, moved by Bob Blumenfield and Harris-Dawson again. And both motions (S12 and S13) cite the erroneous 11% figure for some reason. There are some red faces on the fourth floor of 200 N. Spring Street this morning, friends!
Continue reading LAHSA’s Erroneous Zombie Eleven Percent Increase in City Homeless Population Resurrected in Two Recent Council Motions Despite May 2016 Retraction

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It Turns Out that LAHSA is Statistically Challenged When it Comes to Counting the Homeless, Not Just LAHSA Commissioner Kerry Morrison. Even Eric Garcetti, LA’s Technocrat, Can’t Count

Peter Lynn, ED of LAHSA: "Math is hard!!"
Peter Lynn, ED of LAHSA: “Math is hard!!”
We have written before about LAHSA Commissioner and BID boss lady Kerry Morrison’s difficulties with statistical analysis, at least when it comes to counting the homeless population of the two BIDs she bosses. There was this little gem, where depending on how one looked at her chart the figure under discussion varied from about 25% to about 145%. And then just the other day she was seen waving about bar graphs and making wild claims about how many new homeless people would be attracted to her BID if Ted Landreth had his way with the Salvation Army. What these two incidents had in common was that they overcounted the homeless population of the BIDs. And this is not unexpected, since Kerry Morrison uses statistics for propaganda purposes only, and it is in her interest, the interest of her zillionaire masters, to overcount whenever possible, as it amplifies the hysterical atmosphere in which these BIDdies thrive.
Although she was much maligned for saying so, Barbie was right!  Math class is, in fact, tough.
Although she was much maligned for saying so, Barbie was right! Math class is, in fact, tough.

But we had hitherto assumed that in her role as public servant she’d bring her best game to bear. If not out of a sense of service and public obligation, then at least out of caution given the level of scrutiny that attaches to LAHSA Commissioners over and above that to which BID bosses are subjected. But, according to a report in this morning’s LA Times, this is evidently not the case. It turns out that the Times and Eric Garcetti found some basic errors in LAHSA’s analysis of its 2016 homeless count. These led LAHSA to greatly overestimate the increase in the County’s homeless population. Of course, overestimates are good for LAHSA, just as they are for the BID. The more homeless people there are, the more money LAHSA gets.1
Continue reading It Turns Out that LAHSA is Statistically Challenged When it Comes to Counting the Homeless, Not Just LAHSA Commissioner Kerry Morrison. Even Eric Garcetti, LA’s Technocrat, Can’t Count

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LAHSA Commissioner and BID Boss Kerry Morrison Conspires to Use Illegal Amplified Classical Music at Night to Repel Homeless Sleepers on Vine Street: “This is a Fairly Elegant Solution”

Kerry Morrison, LAHSA Commissioner and supporter of playing loud classical music to repel homeless people.
Kerry Morrison, LAHSA Commissioner and supporter of playing loud classical music to repel homeless people.
Kerry Morrison is a commissioner of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, an organization whose mission statement claims that their purpose is:

To support, create and sustain solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County by providing leadership, advocacy, planning, and management of program funding.

One of these solutions, according to a newly obtained email from Morrison to LAPD Captains Cory Palka, bosom buddy of Hollywood white supremacists, and Peter Zarcone, is evidently to blast classical music at homeless people until they go away:

Hi Captains,

There is a big foyer in front of the Ricardo Montalban Theatre on Vine Street.

For quite some time, this have [sic] been a favorite sleeping place for homeless individuals in the BID.

About a year ago, we encouraged Gil Smith1 to try an experiment (had heard about this from another BID): play classical music all night long and see if that would drive away the sleepers. Sure enough, it had an immediate impact and cleared them out.

As anyone with sense could have foretold, this didn’t end well. The people who actually live in the neighborhood, unlike Kerry Morrison and her alien army of occupation, the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, couldn’t sleep either. They complained, and the music was shut down. But Kerry’s not giving up:

I am going to try to run some interference on this with the property manager over there…because this is a fairly elegant solution…

And what’s the property manager supposed to do here? It’s a violation of LAMC 116.01 to play music loudly enough to disturb sleeping people at night. The property manager can’t stop the residents from calling the cops. And why is Kerry Morrison, commissioner of LAHSA and zealous advocate for hyperenforcement of laws much, much more minor and picayune than this one as long as they’re to be enforced only against the homeless, conspiring with the Executive Producer of the Montalban to break the law by playing amplified music at night? Why is she conspiring to cover up these crimes by proposing to get the property manager of 1600 Vine Street to stop his tenants from reporting these violations to the police?
Continue reading LAHSA Commissioner and BID Boss Kerry Morrison Conspires to Use Illegal Amplified Classical Music at Night to Repel Homeless Sleepers on Vine Street: “This is a Fairly Elegant Solution”

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Fascinating Marginalia on CHC Copy of LAFLA Letter to Los Angeles City Council Regarding LAHSA Misrepresentations in 2015 Application for Federal Homeless Money Reveal Unspoken BID Assumptions

LEGAL-AID-FOUNDATION-OF-LOS-ANGELES1On January 25, 2016, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles sent a scathingly forthright letter to the LA City Council arguing that the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, on whose commission Kerry Morrison serves, falsely stated in its 2015 Continuum of Care application for more than $110 million in federal funding for homeless programs that the City of LA was going to stop criminalizing homelessness by amending its abhorrent, unconstitutional LAMC 56.11 to eliminate criminal penalties for the storage of personal property on sidewalks. This copy was distributed by HPOA Executive Director Kerry Morrison to the Central Hollywood Coalition Board of Directors at their February 9, 2016 meeting. It has annotations inscribed by an unknown hand (probably Kerry Morrison’s). They are fascinating, and we discuss them below.

If you’ve been following the amendments to the ordinance as originally adopted (most importantly here and also here) LAFLA’s allegations will come as no surprise to you. The City of Los Angeles, it seems, is completely unwilling to stop arresting homeless people, even if it puts hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding at risk.

Now, we’re not as sure as LAFLA is that LAHSA actually lied. Here’s what HUD asked (see p.10 of the application for context):

Select the specific strategies implemented by the CoC to ensure that homelessness is not criminalized in the CoC’s geographic area. Select all that apply. For “Other,” you must provide a description…

Here’s how LAHSA responded:

on Nov 17, 2015, the LA City Council amended the ordinance
[LAMC 56.11] to remove sanctions and criminal penalties, reducing sanctions further than the initial municipal code.

And here’s what LAFLA said with respect to this:

…the implication was that any amendment would remove all criminal penalties and sanctions. The amendments as proposed by the City Attorney do [no] such thing.

So LAFLA reads an implicit “all” before the word “sanctions,” which would make LAHSA’s statement false on its face. However, it’s also possible to read an implicit “some” before the word “sanctions,” which would make the statement true, but deeply deceptive since “all” is a more natural assumption regarding the tacit quantifier. Either way LAHSA not only looks bad, but is putting the money, not to mention their credibility, at risk. After all, if the feds think you’ve lied to them, they are exceedingly unlikely to be convinced by your slippery, clever, alternate reading of what you said.

Also, isn’t it interesting that putative changes in LAMC 56.11 were the only example LAHSA gave of the City’s steps towards decriminalizing homelessness. They didn’t touch the also abhorrent LAMC 41.18(d), which forbids sitting on the sidewalk in the absence of a parade. They didn’t even mention it, which is also deceptive. This is the BIDs’ favorite anti-homeless law, and it’s enforced in an openly selective manner against homeless people. At some point HUD is going to notice this, and, as we have predicted before and predict again now, this will be the rock that the BIDs’ ship founders on. The City won’t be able to do without the money, the BIDs won’t be able to do without the law, but the City will be able to do without the BIDs in their present form.

Read on for a discussion of the anonymous marginalia found on our copy of this letter.
Continue reading Fascinating Marginalia on CHC Copy of LAFLA Letter to Los Angeles City Council Regarding LAHSA Misrepresentations in 2015 Application for Federal Homeless Money Reveal Unspoken BID Assumptions

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Kerry Morrison Tries, Fails, to Serve Two Masters, Unfolding Events Yield Two Pressing Reasons for Her to Resign from LAHSA Immediately

Kerry Morrison chooses which of the two masters she's gonna love and, consequently, which she's gonna hate.
Kerry Morrison chooses which of the two masters she’s gonna love and, consequently, which she’s gonna hate.
In the last two weeks, two cataclysmic changes in the the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority‘s mission have made it, in not just our opinion but in the opinion of any sane observer, impossible for Kerry Morrison to ethically continue to serve as both a LAHSA Commissioner and the executive directrix of the HPOA. Since as of a few years ago she was earning $192,794 per annum1 from the HPOA we’re guessing it’s not that job she’s gonna quit. What happened is this: both the Los Angeles City Council and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are poised to ask LAHSA to (a) decide where across the city to locate service centers for the homeless and (b) to stop breaking up homeless encampments.
Kerry Morrison counting a homeless person, no doubt using the local methodology that "[f]ederal officials are disputing," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Kerry Morrison counting a homeless person, no doubt using the local methodology that “[f]ederal officials are disputing,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Unfortunately, Kerry’s masters on the BID Boards expect her to target the homeless for hyperenforcement even as they scoff at the very idea that homeless human beings have rights and, accordingly, she’s directed her flunkies (we’re talking about you, Steve Seyler) to arrest homeless people in encampments and for any other random thing that pops into their heads. She can’t ethically do both, for, as a wise man once said:2

No one can serve two masters, for either he
will hate the one and love the other; or else
he will be devoted to one and despise the
other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon.

Well, we’re not cynics, not at all, so we’re not going to predict what she’s going to do. We are, however, going to write much more about the choices she’s facing right below the fold!
Continue reading Kerry Morrison Tries, Fails, to Serve Two Masters, Unfolding Events Yield Two Pressing Reasons for Her to Resign from LAHSA Immediately

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Lots of Documents, and Not of the Usual Sort!

Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, 99 years ago in 1916.   Her truth, like that of John Brown, goes marching on in Los Angeles in 2015.
Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, 99 years ago in 1916. Her truth, like that of John Brown, goes marching on in Los Angeles in 2015.
Today I’m pleased to announce the availability of a bunch more documents, some of them really interesting, and none of them of the sort we’ve usually featured here. First of all we are adding the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to our list of scrutinizees, albeit in a fairly desultory manner. Documents we obtain will be available from the usual menus above, and here is a link to that page. We kick things off with a couple years worth of form 700s from the Commissioners and the Executive Director. For almost certainly nefarious reasons, the city of Los Angeles, unlike other more enlightened cities in California, does not require BID board members or high-level employees to file financial disclosures (although this may be changing soon, fingers crossed!), so obtaining these forms was the only way to get any insight into Kerry Morrison’s finances insofar as they relate to her work for the HPOA. And now, like Jesus Christ hisself, we have saved the best for last, so the good stuff is after the break!
Continue reading Lots of Documents, and Not of the Usual Sort!

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Charlie Beck Explains the Real Purpose of LAHSA’s Homeless Count: It Will Allow LAPD to Resume Mass Incarceration of Homeless

Charlie Beck at March 19, 2015 meeting of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, just prior to explaining that the biennial homeless count is gonna let the LAPD start arresting the homeless en masse like God intends them to do
Charlie Beck at March 19, 2015 meeting of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, just prior to explaining how LAHSA’s biennial homeless count is gonna let the LAPD start arresting the homeless en masse like God intends them to do
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), whose chair is none other than HPOA Executive Directrix Kerry Morrison, sponsors a biennial count of the homeless population of Los Angeles. And what is the purpose of this massive volunteer effort? Well, according to LAHSA, it’s to “[m]ake a difference in the lives of homeless men, women, and children throughout Los Angeles County.” That turns out to be quite accurate. The homeless count will eventually make a huge difference in the lives of the homeless of Los Angeles.

According to LAHSA executive director Peter Lynn, quoted in a January 2015 press release:

Peter Lynn, human being experiencing executive-directorship of LAHSA and person duly utilizing person-first language when publicly misrepresenting the motives behind the homeless count

The 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is a critical opportunity to gain information about the size and scope of the challenge we face to house community residents experiencing homelessness. We use this information to better target our homeless service resources. Volunteers will make a difference in their community, and the lives of their homeless neighbors, by committing four hours of their time.

Now, doesn’t that just sound warm and fuzzy, but what the heck does it really mean? Well, thanks to an unexpected visit to the March 19, 2015, HPOA Board meeting by Charlie Beck, LAPD capo di tutti capi, we have an explanation for you (hint: when Peter says “better target our homeless” that’s exactly what he means).
Continue reading Charlie Beck Explains the Real Purpose of LAHSA’s Homeless Count: It Will Allow LAPD to Resume Mass Incarceration of Homeless

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