Tarzana residents fed up with filthy RV encampment that has been there for years

Josh Haskell Image
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Tarzana residents fed up with filthy RV encampment
Residents in a Tarzana neighborhood are fed up over an RV encampment that has been there for years.

TARZANA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An RV encampment in the middle of a Tarzana neighborhood on Topham Street has residents fed up.

"Our kids come walk this street all the time and they're petrified. The gentlemen have come after our children - screaming at the children," said Mari, who didn't want to share her last name. "My children have seen them go to the bathroom on the side of the road. It's just dangerous."

Terry Rainey, who lives near the encampment, said drug sales are done in broad daylight.

"They're making noise. It's disturbing because our dogs know it. They keep us up," Rainey said.

The homeless encampment has been there for a few years with roughly a dozen people living inside RVs. There's been outreach, but residents said those who live there aren't interested in housing and prefer their freedom on the street. One of the people who lives at the encampment is reportedly a Lyft driver.

"It's extremely ugly. It's depravity. It actually lowers the property value. It brings people who frankly litter, do drugs and don't care for their neighbors," said Daniel Meza-Rivera, who lives near the encampment.

Residents say the encampment is a prime candidate for Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass' Inside Safe program. But clearing RV encampments has been challenging because you have to find housing and a place for the RVs.

"When we're moving people into housing it's not clear who owns the RV, whether it's the person living in it. You need a place to put the vehicle while you're working on what's going to happen to the vehicle on the long term," state Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur said.

Zbur has introduced a bill sponsored by Bass that would use available Caltrans parking lots to store RVs.

L.A. City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, who represents Tarzana, said in a statement the read in part:

"Local homeless service providers and my team have been working to get the people at this location into housing. The courts have been clear that regardless of if the RV is operational, if someone is living in it, we cannot tow it unless the occupant agrees. This reality will not stop my team from continuing to do outreach and work with the occupants to accept housing and services."