Mayor Bass on clearing Hollywood encampment again: 'We're a little late'

Josh Haskell Image
Thursday, January 4, 2024
Bass on clearing Hollywood encampment again: 'We're a little late'
L.A. Mayor Karen Bass guaranteed a homeless encampment in Hollywood would be cleared by the end of 2023. Unfortunately, that's still not the case.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It was a few days ago when Adrian Sznaider asked a homeless man to leave the Hollywood restaurant he's owned for 18 years.

Sznaider owns Solar de Cahuenga, which is one block away from a homeless encampment near Cahuenga Boulevard and the 101 Freeway. The homeless man instead decided to throw a beer at Sznaider and barely missed hitting his head, video showed.

Sznaider said the encounter for him was scary and he had to call the police.

"It's hard because I have a son, a 13-year-old, and I know sometimes I have to put myself out there," he said.

RELATED: Has LA made progress in tackling homeless crisis in Mayor Karen Bass' first year?

ABC7's Josh Haskell, who has covered Mayor Karen Bass' efforts to address homelessness, looks at whether the crisis has improved in her first year in office.

Sznaider says he was hopeful when Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass decided to clear the nearby homeless encampment as part of her Inside Safe program. Although most who lived there were housed, some spread out into the neighborhood.

One year later, the encampment has returned.

Sznaider told Eyewitness News he tried contacting those in charge around 10 to 15 times in the last two to three months, but no one responded.

"Nobody even addressed it. We completely feel abandoned. I feel like it's putting a Band-Aid on a bigger problem. Clearly, whatever she's doing so far, it doesn't look like it's working," Sznaider said regarding Bass' plan to combat homelessness.

Almost one month ago, Bass guaranteed the encampment would be cleared by the end of 2023.

But the new encampment has only grown, even though a promise of Inside Safe was that all 33 encampments cleared would not return.

Eyewitness News asked Bass about this Wednesday.

"We're a little late, but I guarantee you we are going for it," Bass said. "What we're going to do immediately this month is to go back to all of the sites and make sure re-population has not taken place and where re-population has taken place, we're going to make sure we move those people back."

Nearly 2,000 people were moved off the streets into interim housing through Inside Safe in Bass' first year in office. But only a few hundred of the nearly 2,000 housed under the program have moved into permanent housing.

"I think it is egregious to have a de facto policy that says you stay in a tent, you stay on the street until we build a brick-and-mortar building," Bass said. "So temporary housing, I hope it's a short stay, but is a far cry from a tent on a street."