Arroyo Seco homeless encampment clean up underway


Clean up near Via Marisol | Felipe Xanadu

HERMON –– Another large-scale clean up of homeless encampments along the Arroyo Seco has been taking place in recent days. Felipe Xanadu snapped the photo above from Debs Park as workers cleared away vegetation and the debris from the Arroyo Seco channel near the 110 Freeway.

The clean up and sweep comes only about six-months after a similar effort took place last August. However,  many homeless returned to the area within a few months.


Clean up near Avenue 52 | Felipe Xanadu


Photo by Felipe Xanadu


  1. Hey Felipe, nice recon photos! On patrol in the park?

  2. Anyone know what happens to the homeless people?

  3. I truly hope the homeless people are able to find housing.
    I’m sure most of them suffer from mental problems, are vets, etc , but I know FOR SURE several of them are serious drug addicts with the need to get cash fast fir their fixes. I know this because one of them broke into my house nearby. I know exactly who he and his friends are. I avoid certain areas along the Arroyo now and certain areas of Debs Park, as I have seen some of the same folks living there. Once again, I feel for the truly out of luck and mentally ill, but have little patients with the crack heads harassing the hard working folks that live nearby the Arroyo.

    • Patience, not patients.

    • Hey, Alex
      My house was also burglarized and since I live near the Arroyo I had thoughts that it might have been someone from the encampments. When did your burglary occur?

    • Sadly, the out of luck, mentally ill and vets may also be addicts and vice versa. In my experience, most drug addiction comes from self-medicating to try to relieve pain. Thanks to the ineffective war on drugs, addicts have criminal records making it very difficult to get work, making them more likely to be homeless and then want to self-medicate more. I would like the Arroyo to be a beautiful and safe place for all of us to walk and hike and it definitely feels unsafe with the encampments there, so part of me is glad to see them get removed. But part of me is concerned for the people living there who have nowhere to go and who most of our society views as trash to be disposed of. I don’t know what the answer is. I’m glad for groups like Recycled Resources who are trying to help and make a difference for those who can be helped. It’s a pretty tragic situation.

  4. Excellent. Hopefully it will continue all the way to Downtown as there are multiple encampments all way past the 5 interchange. This needs to be done much more often as the homeless comeback and set up camp almost immediately afterwards. Its interesting to me how other neighboring cities dont have this issue, yet LA has it real bad. Why cant our elected officials learn from South Pas, Glendale, Pasadena and so on?

    • Because the ACLU focuses on suing the biggest – LA – and forcing it to take a lot of extra steps before removing the property of the homeless. One of their biggest cases focused on a homeless vet who left his VA papers with his things, and when he came back to grab them a few minutes later they were taken and trashed by LA.
      It’s not so much that the elected officials don’t want to do anything, it’s that the city is tied down with consent decrees.
      I’m pretty sure South Pasadena doesn’t have that…

  5. What will it take to get a sweep and cleanup at the homeless encampment on Alvarado under the 101? Seriously, that encampment is getting BIG. Does anybody know what we need to do? Thanks!

  6. Recycled Resources is working with the various agencies to secure services and housing. Some have refused service others were able to secure temporary housing. If you want to learn more about how you can be a part of the solution, check out Recycled Resources website or participate in your local community meetings.

  7. Bittersweet!!! Mixed emotions; but, homeless encampments need to be cleaned up throughout Highland Park and Los Angeles County.

  8. Send them to Mid-west

  9. Encampments in places like the Arroyo and LA river are very dangerous for both residents and likely rescuers should we have another big rain. I hope they can find better places to stay. This is a good thing.

  10. The Hollenbeck Division has since assigned a vehicle to patrol the Arroyo so that there isn’t a resurgence of encampments. Some of the inhabitants are down on their luck and just need to be directed to services for which they qualify. You have others that may be diagnosed with a mental illness. And then you have the narcotics users who just need to be plucked out of there. The kids at Bushnell Elementary shouldn’t have to be subjected to witnessing grown-ups defecating, washing up (full nudity), and narcotics use in public view.

    Some of the inhabitants were able to secure resources to get them a fresh start. Some, as reported by Recycled Resources, just needed a bus ticket to get back home to family. But there is an element that does not want to be restricted by rules and order, and have opted to remain in their circumstance.

    To curtail a resurgence of encampents in the Arroyo Seco, LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division recommends that you don’t leave mattresses and furniture on the curb. Contact City Sanitation Services and they’ll pick up bulky items. If possible, place items on the curb the morning of your scheduled pick up. Otherwise, your discards may find there way back in the Arroyo and the efforts of the Parks and Rec Rangers, LAPD, the City Prosecutor, the Sanitation Department will be for naught. If your neighbor leaves items on the curb ask if they called it in to be picked. If they haven’t you can call it in.

  11. Dismantle a shopping cart today! Remove the wheels. No wheels = No mattress.

  12. I really hope that “Felipe Xanadu” is a real name.

  13. neighborhood resident

    The sweep happened this past weekend and today on via marisol someone ripped off the brand new no trespassing sign, tore a whole back in the fencing and set up another tent………..

  14. The homeless folks are already coming back to the arroyo. But where in the hell did everyone expect them to go anyway? Skid row, to one of Michael Maltzan’s complexes?

    • The recent influx of homeless in the Arroyo was due to sweeps of Skid Row. Had to go somewhere. Now they have to go somewhere else. And then so on and so forth.

  15. I run past the encampments every day. The homeless people there have ingenious systems for gathering water, building shelter, and making coffee. I wish we could build them real dwellings right where they are, since much of the space is not really being used. Then they would not have to be in the elements all the time. I know it’s not possible. But Utah managed to build real homes: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/home-free

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