Echo Park homeless return only hours after encampment clean up

Alvarado underpass after encampment clean up | Jeremy Rosenberg

Alvarado underpass at about 11 a.m. after encampment clean up | Jeremy Rosenberg

Homeless return to Alvarado underpass

Homeless return to Alvarado underpass by 2 p.m. | The Eastsider

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Masa of Echo Park

ECHO PARK — The challenge – some would say the futility – of cleaning up the city’s homeless camps was on display today in Echo Park.  This morning, a crew of workers organized by the city cleaned up and hauled away the belongings of the large encampment that had spilled across the sidewalks along Alvarado Street as it passes under the 101 Freeway.  But only a few hours later, the homeless had returned.

Jeremy Rosenberg posted photos of the north side of the underpass on his Twitter account shortly after 11 a.m.  The photos showed  a city sanitation truck and workers by the empty sidewalk. But about 2 p.m., when The Eastsider took a photo of the same location, men and women and their belongings once again filled the sidewalk on the north side of the street near a notice of  today’s clean up.  The south side of the sidewalk was still mostly empty but a homeless person and belongings had already re-occupied a small section.

A spokesman for the Department of Public Works said both sides of the underpass had been cleaned out this morning.

One homeless man who had returned to the underpass this afternoon said the crews were courteous during the cleanup.  He had created a small living area with a sofa and even a shower in the three weeks he had lived under the freeway. “It was not pretty but I did the best I could,” he said of his  makeshift home.

Where would he go if the clean up crews returned? “I don’t know,” he said in Spanish.

Same spot a few hours later | The Eastsider

Homeless reclaim their spots under 101 Freeway | The Eastsider

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  1. Does Echo Park offer any services or housing for these people?

    • The city of LA offers services. These days, there’s a whole outreach process done by the city’s homeless services department prior to an encampment being cleared.

      It sucks to see the encampments return so quickly after they are cleared, but that doesn’t mean its futile. Think about what conditions under there would be like if the junk wasn’t cleared out of there periodically.

      • Well I know there’s a whole bunch concentrated downtown (which presents a whole slough of other problems) … I was just wondering if there’s any in the neighborhood?

    • It’s not Echo Park’s responsibility. It’s no ones but theirs. No one offers me free housing. Anyone offer you that today? Or ever?

      • Nothing is free. If you pay taxes, you are in fact paying for this anyway. You may not consider it part of your or anybody else’s responsibility to address this issue, but if you care about public funds being used more wisely, than you should care about helping find a solution for this issue. Your call.

        • Juan our photo

          Los Angeles’ homeless problem has accelerated for many factors but no factor more great than other cities (adjacent as well as as far away as Chicago) giving many of these people one-way bus tickets to effectively “dump” their problem on to us. They promise the sunshine and the warm weather and viola!
          Part of the outreach programs should include sending a bill for housing and treatment to where ever these guys come from.

          Ever go to Beverly Hills and see homeless encampments? Nope. They shimmy that fella right into the back of a squad car and dump him in LA.

      • @Eddie It costs the taxpayer a lot more when these people end up in the ER or County Jail. Last I checked, we still live in a civilized society with a social safety net for those in need. We don’t just let people die in the gutter in America.

        • ” We don’t just let people die in the gutter in America.”

          @corner soul

          Kind of hard to help those that don’t want to be helped.

          With the exception of the mentally ill who are truly helpless, the addicts & drunks will never get it together until they WANT to get it together.

          -Former addict

  2. Thank you for raising awareness about the challenges the City faces when addressing encampment situations. For the record, Councilmember O’Farrell also coordinates homeless outreach workers to be present to offer services for the folks living at these locations throughout the District. The agencies present today were:

    – PATH
    – LA County Dept of Mental Health
    – Portals Mental Health
    – Step Up on 2nd

    Tony Arranaga
    Communications Director
    Office of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell

    • Thank you for responding to this.

    • Juan our photo

      All well and good that the out-reach organizations were “present”, Tony. But this obviously didn’t amount to anything but give you the opportunity to say “SEE everyone, we’re workin here!!”

      Look at the photos. The encampment was back as it was in less than 4 hours! How is what took place today going to help stop them from pooping in my yard and crimes in my neighborhood?

      Congratulations on taking credit for this non-action.

      • You can’t force people to accept help. That’s a large part of the problem here. Accepting help means you have some responsibilities Including wanting mental, dealing with your problems and help and not abusing drugs and alcohol. Not that I’m not sympathetic but this is way beyond simply offering everyone a job.

  3. LA has a lack of affordable housing and a huge amount of sunshine. As long as there’s warm, accommodating weather, I don’t see the homeless situation getting any better. Many of these folks suffer from drug and alcohol addiction as well as mental problems. All the programs to gain access to a safe, clean, affordable home require a level of responsibility that many of these folks just can’t meet, hence they will keep on living on the streets. This is a huge problem that we as a city need to address because it is only going to get worse.

  4. Why not give them a place to say and three square meals a day in exchange for a half day of work 3 to 5 days a week cleaning up the city, planting gardens, etc.? It would save us all a lot of money and prevent a lot of human misery if people had a clean and safe place to shower, go to the bathroom, clean their clothes, get mental help, or simply a safe place to shoot up or get drunk without turning into a hazard to others.

  5. They came back because that’s where they fucking live. Try replacing “homeless encampments” with “Syrian refugee camps” for posterity and suddenly the article is too disturbing to believe. These people are refugees trying to create a place of their own while dealing with a massive amount of adversity. There were some fully fleshed-out living spaces under this overpass, complete with dressers, mirrors, and even one bed. Why we think we have a right to try to move them to a place that isn’t their own is beyond me.

    We need a new solution. Human beings deserve ownership of something they worked hard on. These were my neighbors.

    • i have a crush on Ashley.

      • Martin Arredondo

        Maybe you can invite her into your tent.

        • Better one of these homeless people than cynical imbeciles like yourself with a chronic case of entitlement and ignorance. That’s the local demographic I eagerly target for discomfort. Expect me,

          • The discomfort I purposely create for any and every cynical, entitled, and ignorant imbecile that I encounter. I’m notorious for it. I not only don’t suffer fools lightly I eagerly torment them with impunity. I concede that I am not without a streak of cruelty but I reserve it for the most deserving.

          • lol; did you actually write that? lol

          • The only discomfort you create is that of endlessly having to listen to a “big, dark chicano” blowhard . Give it a rest. Expect us. We are coming for your “barrio”.

          • I don’t mean to stir the pot, Proper Dos, but in previous posts, you have mentioned that you own several rental properties in the Northeast L.A. area. If that’s the case, have you been willing to rent any vacant units to formerly-homeless individuals at a reduced rent to help them get back on their feet? Have you had any units sit vacant longer than a few weeks, and if so, why didn’t you offer them up to a homeless person? If not, I don’t think you have the moral authority to call other people “cynical, entitled and ignorant imbecile(s.”

    • So you’re saying I can go build a house anywhere in LA for free? Just as long as I work hard on it right? GREAT NEWS!!!

      • I enthusiastically approve the patriotic message above and the following: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to” my beloved Los Angeles. It’s the counter-balance to the leisurely wealthy, entitled, and privileged horde of transplants currently crowding our streets and neighborhoods.

        • Since you like frame pretty much every issue into Transplants vs Natives, I’ve gotta ask: Did you actually grow up in NELA? I don’t mean did your Grandparents live here and you came up from OC to visit when you were a kid. I mean did you grow up here, go to school here, your home address said “Los Angeles” on it, etc. I know you’ve been asked this before and you’re always cagey about answering. Are you from NELA, yes or no?

          • Born and Raised with intimate and detailed knowledge of your street and virtually every street, trail, block, and long-time residents throughout EP and NELos. Despite leaving the state for spells and coming close to settling on the westside during the 90s I couldn’t resist what I recognized the great location and great property prices in NELA where my extended family has lived since the 40s but you’re right. Even when I didn’t actually reside in NELA I always returned and subsequently associate every holiday and special occasion with the various parks, valleys, and heights of NELA. Satisifed? . . . Newbie?

          • Btw, my area code is still 213 . . . >;-)

          • Newbie…LOL. I live in Highland Park now, but I’m sure you can guess which street I grew up on. Did you go to Elysian Heights or Logan? Room 8 FTW (though I never did have Mr. Elmer) I, sadly, was priced out of Echo Park. I was gone for 6 years as well when I joined the Navy and could not believe my eyes when I got back to LA and tried to buy a house in Echo Park. I’m still very happy for all my old neighbors who are sitting on gold mines now. Just imagine what it was like for my Grandmother who was born on York in 1917 (yes, born in a house on York) to see how many changes upon changes upon changes her hometown went through. I guess I just had to ask because it seems like you think that only transplants disagree with you. I disagree with you constantly (though, not always, hello Opening Day) and I’m just as from here as you are. Maybe I’m just weird.
            PS. I actually got my cell phone in downtown ON PURPOSE just so I could get the 213. That IS weird.

        • we are trying to clean up the mess the illegals created; EXP now; EXP forever!!!

    • Ashley, you are delusional. So you want an archaic world where anyone can live anywhere they please? Most of these people like the way they live and do not want to deal with any of our taxpayers problems!

    • Making it as easy as possible for someone to live out the rest of their days under a freeway overpass is not a solution. It sucks that the only two alternatives that seem to come up for homeless encampments are 1) trashing all their stuff and rousting them every couple months, or 2) saying “howdy neighbor” while rubbing their bellies and complimenting them on their beautiful junk pile “wow! a bed! you’re really making it now!”.

      I strongly disagree with your notion that this was their space. These are public sidewalks, not open lots for homesteaders. It is a serious drag how so many portions of public parks, sidewalks, and bus stops throughout the city are given over completely to whichever homeless person pees on it first. And I get that most of the chronically homeless are not exactly a shower and a shave away from nailing a job interview, but your idea that if they put time into their sidewalk campsite then they might as well be allowed to live there forever is not a going to help anyone. We definitely need more drug treatment, housing, and employment services, but it ought to be coupled with some mechanism for ensuring that people are forced to use them.

      Also, these are hardly Syrian refugees and that comparison is tone deaf in the extreme.

    • Ashley, comparing homeless people living under the 101 to war refugees is ridiculous. It’s an insult to the seriousness of war and mass displacement.

    • Ashley, I find your analogy offensive, and your post is well-meaning but incredibly naive. There is simply no comparison between homeless Angelenos and Syrian refugees. The Syrian civil war has dragged on for years and has decimated the country. Traumatized, poverty-stricken Syrian civilians from Homs, Aleppo, or other rubble-strewn cities who struggle to survive in makeshift camps in Jordan or Lebanon have it a lot worse than folks in Los Angeles who are addicted to alcohol, rock cocaine, or meth and who refuse to abide by the rules of the shelters just a mile or two east of Alvarado.

  6. bathing at baxter

    Why spend money and labor to clean them out, then permit the to return? Either don’t bother them or station enforcers to keep them out.

  7. I know the so-called outreach program is well-intentioned, but it’s really not enough and only serves as an excuse for the city to raze people’s homes to the ground under the premise that they had “already been reached out to” and ostensibly refused.

    Go in there and help clean up, provide sanitation, whatever, but unless we have real solutions on the horizon, not the pathetically under-funded homeless programs of today, we need to leave these people be.

  8. City Terrace1963

    The city needs to crack down on these people. Take their belongings and destroy them. This is getting insane. I can possibly get a fine if I leave my garbage cans out too long after collection but the city lets these bums leave their belongings on a public street.

    • You loose sucker

    • Jesus, have some compassion, dude, This is our fellow man you’re talking about — human beings. Have you ever been on hard times? Destroying their belongings solves nothing, and adds to the pain and suffering these people are already dealing with. If you can’t find something wrong with what you said, I feel sorry for you.

      • Martin Arredondo

        These are not people who are just on hard times. They are chronically homeless. The economy could be robust and they are still going to be there. A majority are either mentally ill,on drugs or both. I’ve seen the same guys on the same corners for almost a decade.

        • Um, no. There are more and more homeless (because: the economy). You hadn’t noticed?

          • Martin Arredondo

            Wrong. Unemployment rate in California has dropped 2.5% since 2013. The economy has improved. Just look at all the building that has resumed in DTLA. A majority of homeless are unemployable. I don’t see any of them soliciting work at Home Depot.

          • I’ve known homeless veterans who’ve served and sacrificed a LOT more than entitled slugs like yourself. Compared to the homeless blemish on our city streets, you’re an annoying hemorrhoid on L.A.’s ass. The difference being that a blemish can be addressed and remedied compared to your chronic and incurable imbecility.

        • “I’ve seen the same guys on the same corners for almost a decade” and can’t cite a single gesture of kindness or generosity or even compassion to alleviate their plight. What an insufferable ASS.

      • City Terrace1963

        These people are not my fellow man. They are barely human beings.

  9. Martin Arredondo

    Forced mental institutions,drug re Hans or jail is the solution. Enabling them to live on the street doesn’t help them or us.

    • Martin Arredondo

      Meant drug rehab.

    • You’re living in a Hell of your own creation

    • I agree with you Martin. It’s great all these people have well intentions for the homeless, but a lot of them just WANT to be there.

      • ” . . . but a lot of them just WANT to be there” and they’re welcome to it. Being an eyesore(?) isn’t a crime. Those who can’t bear the daily reminders of human need and misery need to haul their miserable asses back to where they came from. Otherwise, live and let live or better yet propose strategies or evens solutions to address the needs and misery of your neighbors and fellow HUMAN BEINGS.

    • “Forced mental institutions,drug re Hans or jail is the solution”, i.e., concentration camps(?). You’d make a good Nazi if you aren’t one already Herr ArreteTonto.

      • Did you really just pull the nazi card?

        • What’s the big F’n deal? Nazis also condemned undesireables including the mentally ill to concentration camps and death. ArreteTonto is suggesting the same “solution” for the poor, homeless, and mentally ill Same brand of cynical social engineering. ArreteTonto is preCISEly the type of intolerant and small-minded thug recruited by these hate orgs and should be condemned accordingly. Deal with it before his ilk deals with the likes of You.

          • Aldo Thee Apache

            Congrats Proper Douche, you’ve finally earned your Godwin’s Law troll merit badge. You should throw a big party in your parent’s basem…er.. your room!

          • “Thank You.” After all, I simply can’t sit idly by while drooling slugs like ArreteTonto (and yourself) dominate these message boards with your cynical and selfish crap. Somebody’s gotta stand up for the real L.A. “Apache” BAD . . . Go far away . . . Leave good Angelenos ALONE.

        • Arretonto is a sell out to the Latino community. He wants safe and clean streets. Only white people want those things.

          • These streets were not cleaner or safer when they were “whiter”(?). In fact, this city has never been cleaner or safer than when it became 50% “Mexican.” Let that realization lull you to sleep (and nightmares) tonight.

          • middle class people are returning to the barrio for a variety of reasons; if they could, they buy in the west side but global money is getting in the way. They are bringing in their middle class values and expectations to these shitty barrios. The schools and streets are better. EXP and their ilk are getting pushed to the desert…

      • lol; did you get that from your JC teacher?

    • We already tried the whole “lock ’em up, throw away the key” approach in the nineteenth century, and it was a disaster… cruel, inhumane and hella expensive.

  10. I understand many folks have hit hard times, but for anyone living near the 110 freeway in Highland Park, we see that a whole lot of the homeless are also serious drug addicts and chronically drunk. It’s a massive problem. It’s so obvious.

    • While some are drug addicts, many are longtime residents of the NELA who have been forced out due to greedy landlords and property owners who are jacking up rent costs. In case you haven’t noticed, the cost of living in LA is absurd when compared to median pay for the area.

      • You don’t become homeless because your rent went up. There’s an easy solution if you can’t pay the high price of rent in LA…… move somewhere cheaper. It’s like people are saying, “Well, I can’t afford my 4 bedroom house in Echo Park anymore, I guess the only option is to live on the street because moving 30 minutes east is just not possible.” It’s asinine.

        • You transplants will never understand our loyalty to NELA. We would rather live under a bridge than leave our barrio.

          • “You transplants will never understand our loyalty to NELA. We would rather live under a bridge than leave our barrio.”

            @chest beating silverback mayor of ExP.

            Did you call your immigrant parents transplants?

          • @chest thumping silverback mayoral douche

            This land belongs to the Tongva and the Chumash.
            Not the Mexicans or the Americans.

            After the Spaniards left, the Mexicans sold the Chumash and Tongvan lands while they were still living on it.


            You don’t even know your own damn history.

          • This was are land. We stole from the Indians first. Their culture wasn’t rich like ours.

          • Cheap rent and burritos for everyone!

      • @LAscribe

        Greedy Landlords. Really!? Soo, do you assign “greedy” to the grocery stores because a loaf of bread went from .25 cents to over 4 bucks? How about starbucks. Are they greedy because they can get $3-5 bucks for a coffee drink when coffee used to be a dime? Why only landlords getting the title “greedy”?

        It’s called capitalism. Just as with every other private enterprise, real estate is no different. There is competition and risk in exchange for an opportunity to make a profit. It is not charity. Get a life you looser.

  11. All you transplants need to expect gang violence and homelessness in NELA. That’s our culture. Deal with it or get out.

  12. City Terrace1963

    It is not enough to clean up the mess. Take their belongings and destroy them. One thing the city might want to start doing is arresting people for picking through garbage cans in residential areas like they do in my mothers town back east.

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