Homeless encampment in Hollywood continues to grow, residents say

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A homeless encampment in Hollywood is drawing ire from nearby businesses and residents after illegal drug use and purposely set fires have been documented.

The camp sports around a dozen tents near the intersection of McCadden Place and Romaine Street, butting up to Bancroft Middle School. Locals say it first popped up in April and has been growing.

"When one tent gets away with it, another comes, another comes, another comes and pretty soon you have 10, 12 tents," said Ed Schilling, who runs a nearby home furnishings business.

Schilling and his neighbors have been documenting the problems and have provided city officials and the Los Angeles Police Department with videos and pictures of illegal drug deals, bonfires purposely set near their buildings and people defecating at the entrances of their businesses.

"This is the richest city in the richest state in the richest country," Timothy Ragan told Eyewitness News. "I don't understand where we have a hang up here."

Lise Ha Pham says the sidewalks there are often blocked by tents and the homeless, who have been growing more aggressive and forcing kids and parents into the street.

The mess sits squarely in L.A. City Councilman David Ryu's district, but Ha Pham says they're still waiting for help from him.

"We talk, but nothing happens," she said. "And its been a good six months, maybe more."

Eyewitness News reached out to Ryu's office, but were unable to reach anyone on the Veterans Day holiday.

Mayor Eric Garcetti's office told Eyewitness News, "...moving people and encampments from one place to another will not solve the homelessness crisis -- which is why we're investing every available resource in emergency shelter and permanent housing to get people off the streets as quickly as possible."

Ha Pham and the others say they call the city several times a week to report the latest problems. Sometimes LAPD will show up, but officers say their hands are tied.

"As far as I'm concerned, the elected officials are not helpful and they need to be changed because this is outrageous," Ragan said.
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