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Olympic Park Frustrated by Homeless Encampments

Camper located on Country Club Drive, west of Gramercy Place. So much for the map on where the homeless can sleep.

Board members and stakeholders alike have become increasingly concerned about the impact of homeless encampments in Olympic Park. More encampments are popping up in our community and around town. On San Vicente tenants can’t park their cars because of people living in their cars, something residents never thought they would see here.

San Vicente Blvd and Tremaine Ave.

Longwood Highlands East

San Vicente Blvd and Tremaine Ave.

In an article on Homeless Encampments Sweeps on February 21, 2018 the LA Times reported that the Department of Sanitation is asking for an increased budget to clean up homeless encampments. The Times investigation revealed that 40% of clean up requests are more than 90 days old and that each encampment gets an average of six requests for service. At a Town Hall on Homelessness on January 18, 2018 organized by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, a representative from Sanitation described the clean up process as taking at least three weeks from reporting to clean up:

  1. After receiving the report, they verify that the complaint meets the description of an encampment: a location where one or more people live or store property in that area. They identify if there is a health hazard.
  2. They notify LAHSA, who goes out to offer services to those at the encampment.
  3. They determine if the encampment is in the public right of way.
  4. The Board of Public Works signs off on the clean up
  5. They post and schedule the cleanup 24 hours in advance
  6. The morning of the cleanup, they provide a 15 minute warning.

In spite of Sanitation’s best efforts, the encampment may reappear the next day! Residents are understandably frustrated at the pace with which the city is addressing this complex problem. Some have taken steps to increase lighting and protect their properties against the homeless, burglars and slow police response, such as those shown below.

Lights in Country Club Park

LA Curbed reported on February 21, 2018 that the City Council is considering a Resolution calling for the construction of 222 homeless housing units in each council district across the city.

The Olympic Park Neighborhood Council is very concerned about homeless encampments and is planning to meet with Council President Herb Wesson on February 24, 2018 to discuss this important quality of life issue.

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