LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — More and more people are using their vehicles for their residences.
CBS2’s Dave Lopez reported from one neighborhood where residents say the situation has gotten out of hand.
“We’re just trying to survive; we’re just trying to live,” said one man who lives in his motor home. “We’re not bothering nobody; we don’t bother nobody.”
The man did not want to be identified but neighbors who live along West 23rd Street said he is bothering the neighborhood.
“It messes up the neighborhood,” said Rosie Williams. “It creates an unsafe environment for children.”
She said for months, right across the street from where she lives, three RVs and one minivan have been camped out.
One man is living in a motor home with four children and two dogs.
Off camera, the man told Lopez he didn’t have a choice. He was evicted from where he was living and is now trying to save enough money for an apartment.
“The plan is to create safe parking places,” said LA City Council member Gil Cedillo. “We want to work with churches, ”
Cedillo confirmed a report that said 4,500 people were using cars and RVs to sleep in — about 8,000 people altogether.
“These people are not just going to disappear into thin air because we don’t like them,” says Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “We have to provide some place in the city [for these people] to park.”
They’re hoping to find churches, nonprofits, anyone who can help alleviate the problem in places like West 23rd Street.
“It’s political. It’s location, location,” said Williams, “If this was Beverly Hills it would not even be allowed.”
Resident Walter Hart said he’s doing his best to keep the neighborhood tidy.
“The trash you see [over there],” said Hart, “I clean it up every Sunday night. Just so the neighborhood stays nice.”
Hart says he simply can’t keep up with the garbage made by all the people living in their vehicles.
And Lopez reports this is a city-wide problem. But other than the restrictions on Thursday on-street parking — for street sweeping — there are no other parking restrictions on West 23rd.