L.A. homeless crisis: City crews clean up packed street near Grand Park

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles city crews on Monday cleaned up a street near Grand Park where several people have been living in tents.

Just before noon, cleanup crews arrived as part of the sanitation department's efforts to address health and safety concerns.

"They're doing their job. If I had it, I'd be doing the same thing, too," one homeless man said.

People camped out got a notice in advance this would be happening. It's being called a routine cleanup.

"This is a pretty clean, tight-knit unit. It wasn't dirty here today until we left and then scavengers came along and tore everything apart," said Phillip Hahn, who is homeless.

Crews went through piles of trash. They found a large number of needles -- those were photographed.

The people who live here know the routine. They moved about a block away while the trash was removed and as soon as the cleanup crews left, they returned to clean sidewalks.

"It's good they clean the streets, it's great, but they are progressively getting rid of us here, little by little. Every time they come, they weed out a few more tents," one homeless person said.

All property left behind during Monday's cleanup was collected by the city and will be kept in a secure location for 90 days.

Also on Monday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he's leading a coalition of mayors asking Congress to pass a bill sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters that would send more than $13 billion to cities battling this crisis.

"In Los Angeles, it's estimated we have about 10% of the nation's homeless in our county, so we could be talking about $1.3 billion over the life of this, which would help us more than double the amount of money we have to fight homelessness with," Garcetti said.
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