Long Beach residents say LA Metro's end-of-line policy contributes to city's homeless crisis

David González Image
Friday, October 14, 2022
Long Beach residents say Metro policy contributes to homeless crisis
Some Long Beach residents and business owners have reached a breaking point dealing with the city's homeless crisis.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Some Long Beach residents and business owners have reached a breaking point dealing with the city's homeless crisis.

"We are all in fear to walk out of our front door," said Rosemary Palermo during a Long Beach City Council meeting on Tuesday. "We are under siege."

Palermo was one of several people who voiced their concerned with L.A. Metro's A line. The line runs from downtown L.A. to downtown Long Beach between 4 a.m. and 1 a.m.

Metro's end-of-line policy requires all passengers to deboard at the last stop so railcars can be cleaned and returned to service.

"This policy is wrong on so many levels and is clearly contributing to our daily issues." resident Joe Harding said during the meeting.

Residents believe the policy forces dozens of new homeless people onto Long Beach streets every night.

"New homeless people arriving daily. I'm tired. For the first time last week, I considered selling my business. I can't leave my restaurant without a personal escort to my car," said Orsa Modica, who owns a business in the city.

"They don't know what they're doing in Long Beach. They don't necessarily want to be here," Palermo added. "They've passed out and now they're forced off the train. Bus them back. They can go anywhere they want. They don't need to be kept here."

District 3 Councilmember Suzie Price told Eyewitness News the city "does not have the capacity to take on a larger share of the homeless crisis than what our city can bear on its own."

She said the council will send Metro a former letter asking them to evaluate its policy.

"The problem is that if they don't have anywhere to go, they're wandering the streets and it causes an impact on quality of life for residents, and it's really not showing much compassion to the people that are being pushed off the train either," Price said.

Also, she said alternatives could include phasing out the disembarking process throughout multiple stops and having outreach workers at the last stop available to help those who may need it.

"This letter to Metro is making a statement that we need partnership here," Price said. "This is much bigger than the capacity of the city of Long Beach to handle on our own."

¿Quieres leer este artículo en español? Haz clic aquí