LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A series of proposals were made by the city’s chief administrative officer Monday that will aim to clean up Skid Row.
The proposals include the expansion of personal storage space for the homeless, increasing health and safety inspections, and extending access to public bathrooms and showers.
City CAO Miguel Santana, in a report to the City Council, also proposed the increase of trash receptacles in the area by the beginning of may.
“In the 52 square blocks constituting Skid Row, 3,463 homeless men and women live in shelters and on the streets,” Santana reported. “This concentration poses a constant challenge to keep the area clean and safe for the residents and business owners, as well as for the homeless individuals who live there.”
While Santa also noted that the city has taken a number of steps over the years to address health and safety issues in the Skid Row area, he says that most of those efforts have been “outweighed by the overwhelming increase in need, and decline in resources.”
Santana’s proposal includes spending over $3.7 million in the coming fiscal year to provide key services — most notably more room for homeless people to store their belongings and prevent them from accumulating in the city’s streets.
The proposal also calls for more frequent cleanings in the area of Skid Row, including spot cleanings and more thorough efforts, beginning May 1.
Health and safety inspections would also increase under the proposal, and would reportedly be conducted in conjunction with the cleanings.
Santana called for 10 additional trash receptacles to be placed throughout the area, adding to the 17 that are already in place there. He also recommended that the city work to provide 24-hour access to public bathrooms and showers.
Additionally, Santana recommended that the city expand its contracts for voluntary storage, which offers homeless people weekly, renewable access to 60- or 90- gallon storage bins.
Also recommended in the report is the establishment of a storage location for homeless people’s shopping carts, in order to allow them to temporarily store their belongings.
The city was sued in 2011 over the collection and destruction of possessions that were left unattended on streets and sidewalks.
As a result, an injunction preventing the practice has been in place since April 2011, and the city has lost several appeals that attempted to have the court order overturned.
City attorneys recently announced their intentions to drop their latest appeal, which was aimed at having the injunction modified.
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