Sheriffs clear out homeless encampment

Los Angeles County sheriffs have dismantled an encampment of homeless people under the 605 Freeway near the 10. KPCC’s Shirley Jahad has this report.

Shirley Jahad: The camp accommodated 35 to 40 men, women, and children, L.A. County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said. He called it the most squalid, heinous homeless encampment he’d ever seen. The people lived under the freeway bridge, behind a walled-in area. Whitmore said ventilation holes were their only way in and out of the camp.

Steve Whitmore: There’s no light in there. They would hang the food. So the rats wouldn’t get it. You know how people when they camp they hang their food so the bears won’t get it? They did the same thing with their food. But it’s not pretty. This is heinous. It is unfathomable. It is unlivable. It is wrong.

Jahad: Whitmore said half a dozen babies lived in the enclosure, next to human and animal waste. He said officials are trying to place the camp’s inhabitants in adequate shelter and offer them medical attention and mental health care.