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Should LA resume sweeps of homeless encampments?




A police car stops near homeless people sleeping in their encampments in the early morning hours of downtown sidewalks on April 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.
A police car stops near homeless people sleeping in their encampments in the early morning hours of downtown sidewalks on April 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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The city of Los Angeles launched a crackdown on homeless encampments Wednesday near a new shelter in downtown Los Angeles’ El Pueblo historic district.

The move is part of a five-day-a-week cleanup plan where the city will increase police presence around the so-called “special enforcement zones,” areas established around a series of homeless shelters the city is planning to build.

The current shelter in El Pueblo has been operating since last September. Outreach workers from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) went from tent to tent handing out cards to the homeless population with information about the new rules and the services they provide.

Sanitation employees and law enforcement said they would delay ticketing and aggressive camp clearances until homeless people are educated on the new rules.

Guests:

Tom Waldman, director of communications for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), a joint powers agency of the city and county of Los Angeles that was out at the sweeps yesterday, providing information to the homeless population

Andy Bales, CEO at Union Rescue Mission, a private Christian homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row

Jessica Lall, president and Chief Executive Officer for the Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA), an advocacy group that aims to increase investment into Downtown Los Angeles