Tents being moved out of Azusa riverbed - but where will homeless go?

Leo Stallworth Image
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Homeless told to leave Azusa encampments
Homeless people camped out along the San Gabriel River bed in Azusa have been told to leave but it's not clear where they can go.

AZUSA, Calif. (KABC) -- Clusters of homeless encampments line the San Gabriel River bed snaking along the Lario Park hiking trail off the 210 freeway in Azusa.

Those living here are terrified.

They've been told to leave by Tuesday morning or else.

Mike Vera is homeless. He says Tuesday after 6 a.m. no one can be camped inside the park.

He says the homeless have been warned if they don't leave their vehicles will be impounded and they can be arrested.

The signs warning the homeless to leave are posted throughout the park.

Vera says work crews are going to bulldoze the encampments.

Mike saying he's turning down offers for alternative housing through the county because the services are far too restrictive and he'd rather seek refuge in a tent surrounded by his neighbors and friends in the encampments.

Vera says living in the encampments is not bad.

He says he and other homeless residents are a close-knit community looking out for each other for years.

As law enforcement moves the homeless out, work crews are expected to clean up and renovate the riverbed and park.

Volunteers feeding the homeless in the area are concerned.

Foothills Kitchen co-founder Carol Daley says her charity has been serving 100 meals a day and there's approximately 300 to 350 people living in this area.

Her charity has been helping to feed the homeless in the encampments along the riverbed for the last half-dozen years and she's concerned once residents are displaced many will simply starve.

She is most concerned about the welfare of the mentally ill who she says have managed to survive in the encampments.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated the homeless encampments were located in Irwindale. The story has been updated to reflect Lario Park is in the city of Azusa.