May 2018 Newsletter

The following is an excerpt from the March 2018 Pacific Palisades Taskforce on Homelessness Newsletter. To read this newsletter in full, please click here.

Via Bluffs Restored, with a Little Help from Our Friends

“[T]he trash up in the mountains was unbelievable. Clean & Green took the time to remove all of the bulky items and debris. This clean-up will provide a safe and healthier environment to the. . . community. The deer can [once again] enjoy their habitat.”

Clean & Green team member Adriana, 16

On two mornings last month, 40 teens toting shovels, hoes, and saws marched up a service road into the Via de las Olas bluffs. The 30 boys and 10 girls, aged 14–17, are members of the Clean & Green team, the youngest work/study cohort from the 30-year-old nonprofit Los Angeles Conservation Corps. Earning minimum wage, the boys and girls cleared the final 16 steepest and most dangerous of the abandoned Via homeless encampments. To reach one of the encampments, workers had to lower themselves down a bank clinging to a knotted rope. With four supervisors directing, the girls and boys plastic-bagged debris and hoisted it into the 40-foot bin ordered by LA City Recreation and Parks Captain Albert Torres. Our LAPD beach patrol, with their new leader, Captain Val Thomas, provided security for both Clean & Green and PPTFH volunteers. PPTFH Enforcement Coordination Chair Sharon Kilbride organized the two-day event. With two more Clean & Green days scheduled later this spring, the six remaining encampments in the Palisades will finally be cleared out. Using the LA Conservation Corps in the Palisades was the brainchild of Lisa Cahill, Field Deputy to our city councilman Michael Bonin. We are grateful to Wendy Butts, CEO of LA Conservation Corps, and her Program Coordinator, Lorena Umana, who directed the corpsmembers on April 17 and 18. LA Conservation Corps ( is the nation’s largest urban conservation corps and the preeminent youth-development organization in Los Angeles. Corpsmembers are off-track junior- and senior-high teens. Our April cleanup crew were cordial, businesslike, knew what to do, went right to work, and did a great job. They didn’t turn up their noses at the filth but put on a smile and did the hard work. It was impressive and inspiring. We cheered them when they came and wanted to hug them when they left. It was a rewarding, win-win time for all. It was great to see that this program, which helps kids needing a leg up in life, is also helping our community clean up what is left behind from people who also need a leg up in life. The April cleanup project capped a multiyear effort involving PPTFH, dedicated Palisadians, and city and county agencies. In November 2015, fire exploded from a homeless encampment below Via de las Olas. The Malibu and LA County Fire departments worked overnight to snuff out a blaze that could have rivaled the destruction of the 1961 Bel Air fire. Later, Via de las Olas resident Bill Moran worked with PPTFH’s Bruce Schwartz, LA City Attorney Veronica de la Cruz, and LAFD Inspector John Novela to craft and post 18 signs on the bluffs:


Once the signs were placed, our LAPD beach patrol, PPTFH enforcement coordination volunteers, and outreach team, Glanda Sherman and Maureen Rivas (from The People Concern, formerly OPCC), helped 20 of about 50 former bluffs dwellers into housing. In 2017, Palisadian Tom Creed headed a campaign to CLEANup after the departed campers. In several sessions, over 50 volunteers filled three 40-foot bins. Our bluffs work now focuses on prevention, through signage, monitoring, and continued outreach. We know that helping homeless people—and protecting our homes—requires cooperation between public and private groups, professionals and volunteers. We welcome and thank our newest partners, the Clean & Green teens of the LA Conservation Corps.

Also in the May issue:

  • President’s Message

  • Outreach Team Progress Update

  • Via Bluffs Restored, with a Little Help from Our Friends

  • “Enabling” and the Remaining Palisades 25%

  • Enforcement Coordination Update: No-Parking Signs Replaced

  • Brown Bag Brigade: Another Way to Help

  • Pali High Students Donate Hygiene Kits

  • Community Meeting May 21