The tour, which was arranged after ABC7 contacted the councilman, took place one day after Cedillo won reelection in a runoff in which he was criticized by some for failing to do enough to deal with the homeless problems in Council District 1, which includes most of Elysian Park.
Some of people who joined the tour – including officials with city’s Park Ranger Division, the L.A. Homeless Services Authority and the Department of Mental Health – said they regularly check the area for anyone needing and willing to accept help. ABC7 reported that Cedillo and the group found tents, backpacks and blankets, but few people. One man they approached said he wanted to be left alone.
Park Ranger Capt. Albert Torres told ABC7 that a lot of the people are away from the camp during the day because they have jobs. He added that the number of illegal encampments in the park has grown over the years – raising the danger of fire.
ABC7 noted that a brush fire broke out near a homeless encampment in Montecito Heights last April.
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