A homeless encampment was removed from a vacant city lot in South Los Angeles at the request of one of the City Council’s newest members, his aide said Monday.
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson called for the clean-up of the Transportation Department lot at 86th and Broadway on July 1, the day he was sworn in to the Los Angeles City Council.
Harris-Dawson’s first motion upon entering office asked that city staff “take immediate steps to address and ameliorate the matter of a homeless encampment that has just sprung up” at the city lot at 86th Place and Broadway.
The request was made in response to calls from activists who held a protest a day earlier, saying the vacant lot has attracted trash-dumping and a homeless encampment.
“It looks as if some clean-up work has been done and the encampment has been removed per our office’s request,” Harris-Dawson spokeswoman Chanelle Brown told City News Service.
She added the gates to the lot “have been secured to prevent individuals from further entering, but personal items from the encampment still lie on the streets.”
She said the councilman’s office is asking for “follow-up action” from city workers assigned to maintain city facilities. Brown added that Harris- Dawson is developing “a resolution with a larger strategy that includes development and clean-ups in the corridor.”
Harris-Dawson’s previous motion also asked for recommendations from the Los Angeles Homeless Authority on “a long-term solution” to the issue of homeless people camping at the lot.
Harris-Dawson said the vacant lot, one of many in South Los Angeles, is “emblematic of a problem we have throughout the district — vacant lots that the private sector and public sector haven’t figured out what to do with, or how to get something done.”
“And as homelessness is pushed out of downtown and homelessness is increasing, those vacant lots often turn into campgrounds,” he said. “This is, for us, a first step in a broader strategy that we have around vacant lots.”
Harris-Dawson was assigned to co-chair the newly formed Homeless and Poverty Committee, alongside Councilman Jose Huizar, whose own district includes the Skid Row area, where many of the city’s homeless population is located.
— Wire Reports