LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Blue tarps and patterned blankets form tents, while furniture, shopping carts, discarded shoes and other refuse are scattered up and down the sidewalks – it’s now an everyday scene that is having an impact on small businesses in Van Nuys.
Business owners in the San Fernando Valley say they are fed up with the growing number of homeless encampments and the trash that they are bringing with them.
“Our customers are scared to come to our businesses,” said one man who didn’t want to go on camera. “They feel it’s too scary to walk down the street, and it is.”
Encampments and a lot of trash are covering the streets and sidewalks in Van Nuys. On one street, a shopping cart carrying an empty cat litter container and other trash sat askew on the sidewalk, in front of discarded boxes, cups, clothes and other refuse. On the other side of the street, more shopping carts filled with garbage spilled out of makeshift tents up and down the sidewalk.
With fires and drug paraphernalia becoming an all-too common sight, business owners want the city to do more to clean up the mess.
The city of Los Angeles says it is doing what it can to help the situation, and that people should call 311 to report homeless encampments and trash.