As L.A. moves toward more homeless sweeps, long-term solution elusive

LA's Homeless SweepThe tents and tarpaulins were visible for miles, dotting the scrubby embankments of the Arroyo Seco and prompting complaints to the city from worried neighbors.

Many feared that the people living in the shaggy, freeway-adjacent tent cities were bringing drugs and petty crime into their northeast Los Angeles communities.

In May, the city launched a cleanup that took six days and cost $66,000 by the time it ended in late June, records show. But while the encampments along the concrete riverbed were cleared, none of the displaced people were given housing, advocates say. They simply scattered into the nearby streets of Lincoln Heights and Highland Park, or took to the hills of Elysian Park.

“They just moved them around,” said Monica Alcaraz, president of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council.

The cleanup, which a city official said was permitted under existing law, offered a glimpse of how crackdowns on homeless camps could play out citywide under controversial new ordinances set to take effect July 18.

The two laws give homeless people 24 hours to remove their belongings from sidewalks and parks or face confiscation and citations or misdemeanor charges. The city has lost a string of court cases over removing homeless people and taking their property.

Read More at the LA Times

Read Shad Meshad’s Blog at the Huffington Post – On the Move Again: A Failed Tactic

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