LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday will consider a motion to replace mandatory cleanup of homeless encampments with a more voluntary, service-based approach.
The motion, introduced by Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Mike Bonin back in January, calls for the L.A. Bureau of Sanitation to develop standards for street engagement and hygiene services “with a preference for voluntary compliance whenever possible.”READ MORE: Beverly Grove Homeless Encampment Cleared, But Residents Say Problems With Crime Have Not Gone Away
Most notably, they would not involve law enforcement personnel.
The cleanup would occur on a regular schedule and involve services like trash pickup and outreach. It would also provide encampments with mobile showers, bathrooms, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, easy-ups and shade structures.
The motion would also call to hire unhoused Angelenos to keep areas tidy between cleanings and provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.
Raman and Bonin said in the motion that Los Angeles policy should be guided by the Hippocratic oath, “first, do not harm.” They contrasted Los Angeles’ policy to conduct forced cleanups during which unhoused residents must take down their tents and move their belongings.
Bonin created a stir earlier this month when he asked the city to examine whether it can install tiny homes for the homeless in several coastal communities, including Pacific Palisades and Venice. Among the temporary sites were Will Rogers State Beach, Dockweiler State Beach, Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey and a property owned by Culver City.
This also comes in the wake of the controversial Echo Park cleanup in late March in which dozens of people were arrested during protests against the removal of a large-scale homeless encampment at Echo Park Lake and the park’s indefinite closure to clean up an estimated $500,000 in damage.
Last week, residents in Reseda expressed their anger over a community of about 50 tiny homes which are being built in their neighborhood to house the homeless.
Meanwhile, in his annual state of the city address Monday night, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed a budgetary plan for the next fiscal year that would see nearly $1 billion go towards battling the ongoing homeless crisis.
Several Los Angeles neighborhood councils voiced support for Raman and Bonin’s motion, including the councils of Atwater Village, Arroyo Seco, Del Rey, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Empowerment Congress West Area, Greater Cypress Park, Greater Valley Glen, Hollywood Hills West, NoHo and Mid-City. The Los Feliz Neighborhood Council said it would support the motion if the cleanups were mandatory, not voluntary.
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