The ordinance, Municipal Code (L.A.M.C.) section 41.18 — known in homeless advocacy circles as the “sit-lie” law — makes it a criminal oﬀense to sit, lie, or sleep on a public side- walk anywhere in the city. However, under the settlement with the ACLU, the city can only enforce the law under limited circum- stances. When the homeless population overtook the number of shelter beds, 41.18 became impractical to enforce.
There are 36,000 homeless but less than 10,000 shelter beds. There simply isn’t anywhere for them to go.
Tent encampments exploded into one of the most dis- tressing and politically toxic issue in the history of the United States.
The city council’s Homelessness and Poverty committee recommended 3-0 in favor of rewriting L.A.M.C. 41.18. The list of proposed prohibitions on sitting, sleeping or lying include:
- Within 10 feet of a driveway or building
- Within 500 feet of a park, school or daycare
- Within 500 feet of a homeless shelter or homeless housing that’s opened since January
- In any way that violates free passage of someone in a wheel- chair pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities
- On bike
- In or upon any tunnel, bridge or pedestrian subway that is on a city-designated school
- On public land with posted “no trespassing” signs and closing times.
- On “crowded public sidewalk areas” like those where street vending is outlawed or near large venues.