LOS ANGELES (CBS) — City cleanup crews descended on Skid Row Tuesday to clean up the human waste, hypodermic needles, condoms and rats that have built up in the area.

On orders from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the city’s Department of Public Works began a two- to three-week effort – called Operation Healthy Streets – to literally scrub down the sidewalks after a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health report noted the health dangers of living among feces, urine, rats and hypodermic needles found on Skid Row.

Crews will remove all items – including the possessions of homeless people – from the sidewalks on the streets on the east side of downtown where the homeless congregate and the sidewalks will be power-washed.

Possessions collected from the streets will be held in storage for at least 90 days at the Central City East Check-In Center, and a Storage facility at 432 E. Temple St.

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority personnel have been telling Skid Row occupants about the cleanup operation and where to claim their belongings. Four outreach workers are accompanying clean-up crews, spokesman Peter Griffith said.


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