SAN PEDRO (CBSLA) – A longtime homeless encampment located near  a vacant Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health building in San Pedro is drawing renewed focus on the city’s worsening homelessness crisis.

SKY9 aerial footage taken Wednesday morning showed makeshift tents, tarps, bicycles and debris strewn along the sidewalk of 8th Street outside the mental health facility, where a temporary shelter is being proposed,  according to the Daily Breeze.

Aerial image of a homeless encampment along 8th Street in San Pedro (credit: CBS)

A screenshot from Google Earth dated March 2019 also showed several tents along the same block – which is adjacent to a U.S. Post Office – but Wednesday’s footage indicated the amount of tents and debris has jumped considerably.

Under a proposal from county Supervisor Janice Hahn, the building would have 40 beds with stays limited to 90 days while counselors would work to transition residents to permanent housing. The plan only envisions using the shuttered mental health services facility as a temporary shelter space for three years, according to the Breeze.

But Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino – who represents the area – told the Breeze he’s “hesitant” about having the long-awaited Bridge Home 100-bed temporary shelter set to open by April being located less than a mile away from the now-vacant site.

“I’m hesitant about having two homeless shelters in such close proximity, two sites so close to each other,” Buscaino was quoted as saying Monday.

With a population of approximately 57,000, San Pedro has seen its homeless numbers jump 24% in the last year – up to 622 from 501 in 2018, according to the most recent county data. Neighboring areas like Wilmington and Harbor Gateway saw similar spikes.

Comments (3)
  1. Cynthia James says:

    Something needs to be done quickly

  2. C says:

    Lock down addiction treatment for 18 months min is the only thing that will work. 95% refuse to go into shelters with rules because they are addicts. They will leave any short term bed as soon as they want the next high and be back camping on the doorstep and shooting up in the bushes. How many more unnecessary deaths and lives wasted by drugs do we have to watch because the authorities refuse to acknowledge that they need to change the law to make a lock down drug treatment facility as part of alternative sentencing. The poor souls are in bondage to drugs and cannot make wise decisions for themselves. Voluntary treatment will not work. It takes many months to retrain their minds after drug detox and teach them how to use peer support, job training and self care to get back on their feet. If we wait too long, many will be lost to brain damage and death.

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