Protesters angry after homeless removed from LA neighborhood

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- What was once a no-man's land right next to Poinsettia Park near West Hollywood is now a completely different place since the homeless population was forced out.

"It's as simple as people are walking on the other side of the street now. They've opened up the gates to the park again and there are people playing dodgeball and just parking on the other side of the street, which you didn't see and you couldn't do because there was garbage all over the place," resident Dave said.

Dave is a longtime resident in the area and he gave Eyewitness News videos and pictures from a few weeks ago. For six months, he said homeless people were defecating in yards, masturbating in garages and terrorizing his neighborhood.

They have since been forced to leave by authorities, which is a relief for the community. But now protesters that have shown up in the area are unhappy.

"I think just removing the encampment, you're just pushing them somewhere else. Now another neighborhood is having to deal with the same issues," Jed Parriott said.

Parriott, of the Democratic Socialists of America, planned a silent vigil for the homeless. He said policing them is not the answer.

"The city is going to have to start allowing people to live in tents. They're going to have to start legally saying there's certain areas designated - maybe not right here - but maybe there's a certain area, a parking lot, that's not as close to the residents who are complaining," he said.

The protests caused tension among those who live in the area and those advocating for the less fortunate.

"You're upset because you feel like we're dehumanizing people and we're upset because we feel like you're dehumanizing us," Dave said.

But there is currently no guarantee or law in place to keep the homeless from coming back.

Homeless people in the area said they simply want a place to sleep and since they were forced out, they have moved to other streets in the area. They said they'll keep moving until they can find a place to sleep.
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