ECHO PARK — The Clinton Street Stairway across from Echo Park Lake is often littered with broken beer bottles and trash despite ongoing clean ups and even a grass-roots restoration effort. But conditions have worsened in the past month after a homeless man began to pile items at the base of the southern flight of stairs. The items range from shiny trophies and shopping carts to furniture and what looks like a musical keyboard. “The little piano or key board is the final item that drove me crazy,” said a man who has asked the city to clean up the mess. But the city, for now, can’t touch that pile.
Tony Arranaga, spokesman for Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, said the district office has received numerous complaints about the pile. The Bureau of Street Services and the Bureau of Sanitation, which handle clean ups, were notified in September, and both the police and representatives of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority have visited the site. But “the person living there is uninterested in moving,” said Arranaga, which means the necessary notifications and outreach must take place before a cleanup can begin.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority “is planning to return soon with the department of mental health,” Arranaga said via email. The stairway is on a cleanup list but “our office has not received word as to when that might happen.”