Chatsworth church trying to help homeless, getting push back from community

- A few dozen homeless people sleep in this church parking lot overnight.  It’s been deemed a safe area near Topanga and Devonshire streets.

Chatsworth West United Methodist Church wants to provide more space to those living on the street.

While the church doesn’t need residents’ permission to make this happen, the pastor would like their support.

LA county estimates about 85 hundred people sleep in their cars and parking rules ban living in vehicles in most residential areas.

Pastor Ruy Mizuki says for the 21 years he has allowed homeless people to sleep in the large parking lot overnight.

But he says to continue this work, he needs help from Safe Parking LA.

The non-profit organization helps homeless people transition to permanent housing.

Many Chatsworth residents are concerned allowing more people to sleep in the area overnight will only attract more crime to their low-crime city.

Tonight residents heard from a Safe LA representative who assured people the organization wants to consider people’s concerns.

But he reminded them and the board —the church owns the property and can do what it wants on the land.

The power is in Pastor Ruey’s hands, but he doesn’t want to use without his community’s blessing.

Safe Parking LA also noted there would be security guards on site.

It plans to have at least 10 sites in place across the county by July 1st.


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