SoCal homelessness: Protesters in Hollywood say police are harassing the homeless

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Protesters took to the streets of Hollywood Wednesday, saying police are harassing the homeless and they want it to stop.

Homeless advocates and a crowd of homeless people gathered to protest outside of the Schrader Temporary Bridge Shelter, which provides a temporary safe haven for up to 72 homeless people.

Protesters said police are undergoing routine sweeps spanning a seven-block enforcement zone around the shelter, keeping close to 2,000 homeless people from camping outside of the property.

Homeless individuals say authorities should provide them space at abandoned parking lots along with portable bathrooms to pitch their tents without fearing of being moved.

Not all homeless people agree with what protesters are saying. Some actually say that police are not trying to sweep them out of the area.

"They don't realize there's a whole lot more to life than arguing with a cop because it's 6 o'clock in the morning, and you sleep on a public sidewalk that has to be cleared so people can access it during the day," said Conner Hamilton.

Hamilton has been homeless for several years and doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. He said police only request they move their tents from the sidewalk for cleaning crews to sanitize the street several times a week. He said they move their tents back on the sidewalk once crews clean the sidewalk.
Protesters point to a growing campaign recently launched called Services not Sweeps. It calls for more public health and other officials to visit camps providing services to the homeless as opposed to law enforcement sweeping camps out of certain areas.

The mayor's office released a statement saying in part:

"The services we're providing in these areas are regular and predictable, and we have permanent signage posted, so that people know what to expect and when. We'll continue this work in Hollywood and across the city with the care and compassion that people deserve when they are in desperate need."
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