Three of California’s wealthiest coastal cities howled loudly last year when they were sued by a civil rights group over their treatment of the homeless. But progress has since been made, writes the LA Times’ Catherine Saillant. Santa Monica has a long history of assisting the down and out on its shore lines and has added to its extensive programs in the wake of legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union. Santa Barbara has kept its year-round homeless center and has also set up a policy of allowing the destitute to sleep designated city parking lots. A representative for Laguna Beach, the third coastal city accused of human rights failings, accused the ACLU of penalizing “cities that are a little more liberal in their political leanings and generally have more of a social conscience.” The LA Times reports: “Since the filings, Laguna Beach and Santa Barbara have quietly worked out agreements to provide more housing and support services for people on the streets. They've also agreed to stop what ACLU chief counsel Mark Rosenbaum claimed was a policy of citing homeless people for sleeping on sidewalks and beaches and to stop giving frequent orders to people to move on.”