LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A federal judge Friday issued a preliminary order requiring the city of Los Angeles to relocate thousands of homeless people living near Los Angeles freeway structures.

Under the order from U.S. District Judge David Carter, anyone camping near freeway overpasses and underpasses, and near entrance and exit ramps, must be relocated for health and safety reasons.

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“Because of the public health risks inherent in living near freeways, the court finds that the homeless individuals that live in such locations face a likelihood of irreparable harm, justifying a preliminary injunction,” Carter wrote.

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Unless an alternative plan is approved, the order will be enforced starting at noon May 22, according to City News Service.

As many as 7,000 people live under or near the county’s freeway overpasses,underpasses and ramps, up to 4,000 of whom are located in the city and couple of hundred in unincorporated areas.

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The judge added that while the health risks constitute “an emergency and demand a swift response”, he invited input from city and county officials prior to the preliminary injunction taking effect next Friday.