LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Residents in the Florence-Firestone community of South Los Angeles said the area has been overtaken by people living in RVs for years, and they are continuing to plead for help.
A long row of RVs area parked on East 65th Street in South L.A., bringing with them trash that litters the sidewalk and street.
“The encampment has taken over the neighborhood. Crime has gone up,” said homeowner Audrey Ortiz.
Neighbors say some people living in the RVs have also been dumping human waste in the streets, which some nearby homeowners have been cleaning up with bleach.
“Just the smell of the feces. It’s inhumane to live like this,” one neighbor said.
Ernie Quintero, a local homeowner, said he has called every lawmaker and law enforcement agency he can think of, but to no avail.
“The zip code is 90001. If this was 90210, this wouldn’t be happening,” Quintero said.
One woman, who has lived there in the South L.A. neighborhood for 20 years, said that her grandchildren can’t play outside because the family no longer feels safe.
Around the corner from her home is a makeshift memorial after neighbors say two murders occurred.
“A lot of neighbors are calling. No one is listening. I don’t understand what else needs to happen,” one neighbor said.
Residents say the solution to this problem could be as easy as putting up street signs like this one that reads “no motorhome parking”.
While the pandemic put a pause on street enforcement, in April, the sheriff’s department announced it would be ticketing and towing again.
Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who oversees this part of L.A. County, said in a statement that the rise of RV encampments in the Florence Firestone community is a priority for her office.
She went on to say, “In response to this crisis, my office has funded the St. Joseph Vehicular Homelessness Outreach Program to provide daily outreach and offer housing services to this area and RV encampments throughout my district… We know that moving our unhoused residents from one community to the next does not solve the problem.