Where is the line between helping the homeless and letting them do whatever they wish?

Like many in California, I have voted consistently to improve recreational, environmental, transportation and homeless support funding to keep our state the best place in the world to live. As I drive down Pacific Coast Highway in northern Los Angeles County, I see lines of motorhomes parked along the road for days, weeks, months and years on end. I’ve been told by officials that they are on state property and local municipalities can do nothing about it. 

Did we fund Caltrans to rehabilitate and expand parking at places like Big Rock Beach in Malibu so that people in vehicles can live there? It was not my intent to do so, nor do I believe it was the intent of other California taxpayers. There are so many motorhomes parked along our beaches that visitors have to park long distances away or park on the inland side of PCH and risk their lives running across a high-speed state highway. Why? So that the “homeless” can have a prime scenic spot to put down roots. This is certainly appreciated by other RV owners who have figured out that we no longer enforce parking regulations on PCH. There are luxury motorhomes that have parked for days at Big Rock Beach. These are not homeless; these are campers, with multi-hundred-thousand-dollar rigs towing BMWs, that want to have a great view of the Pacific for their vacation.

Perfection is the enemy of good. This is certainly true in addressing homelessness. “Safe parking” is a good short-term solution to help those who live in vehicles. Why can’t we utilize state, county and city facilities to provide for parking vehicles and even tents for those who are in need? By having campsites throughout the region with attendants and permanent sanitation buildings, we can all share in helping those who need it. Let’s clean up the unsanitary, unsafe, unsightly mess that we have allowed to evolve.

Bill Powell

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