Arcadia looking at solutions to growing homeless encampments with some pushback from residents

Homeless encampments underneath freeway overpasses, streets and near homes and business are a common sight in Southern California. In Arcadia, there's a new plan to put up a community of tiny houses to give them shelter, but some residents say it's not the answer to a growing problem.

Richard Allan has been living underneath the 210 Freeway in Arcadia for a few months and has heard the rumblings of him not being welcome there.

"I don't know, I really don't know what to do...we don't bother with the neighbors," he said. "I understand about the neighbors, I totally understand that. I'm sure nobody wants people in their backyard, but we don't have nowhere to go."

The city has some beds for the homeless, but they're taken up. Like many other municipalities in Los Angeles County, Arcadia has a growing homeless community and not enough resources to help them.

Arcadia City Councilperson April Verlato has heard from her constituents - both good and bad. One of the ideas the city is looking at is putting together a community of tiny houses, similar to those that were recently opened in North Hollywood.

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Another tiny homes village has opened up in North Hollywood. It's the second such community built by the city of L.A. to help people experiencing homelessness.



"They have their own space. They can take their things in there, lock them up," she said. "They feel safer at night, sleeping without worrying... It's a better model for addressing this emergency issue."

Verlato says she's felt the pushback from residents who don't want that in their neighborhood. But, she says, more and more encampments are popping up in San Gabriel Valley cities and it needs to be addressed.

"I think before we spend money we should use what's available. Then when we run out of those facilities, than we look at spending money," said Doug Beaver, who has lived in Arcadia for over 30 years.

Verlato says there's no quick fix to this issue. She's hoping that other cities in the San Gabriel Valley can get together and start brainstorming on what to do.

Will Newsom plan help tackle homelessness problem in Los Angeles?
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Los Angeles business owners and residents hope a new plan from Gov. Gavin Newsom can reduce the growing number of homeless encampments across the city.



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