Those who are forced into being without an abode and/or dwelling are all to quickly deemed less than citizens. In many regards are even treated as less than human. How about thinking that we are NOT homeless, nor last-class citizens or non-human? We think, have feelings, have intellect and struggle. How would you feel to be thought of as anything less than human just for circumstances due to those of profit/gain/control?
Homeless man found dead on LA's Skid Row during cold snap - www.Houseless.net
The body of a homeless man was found just before dawn Monday on a Los
Angeles Skid Row sidewalk, but it was unclear if the death was caused
by the record cold.
City News Service said the name of the man, who appeared to be in his late 50s, wasn't released.
In Angeles National Forest, where overnight temperatures have been
dropping into the 20s, 28-year-old Danny Kim of Arcadia, was found
Sunday night after surviving 26 hours hiking in the frigid West Fork
Kim was airlifted to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
People sit on 6th Street in Los Angeles' Skid Row area. (Grant Hindsley / Associated…)
For years Sheba lived on the streets with Georgina.
"When it was cold, she kept me warm,"
Georgina recalled recently, "and if I got attacked, she
Sheba was a patient, loving German
shepherd mix whose excess belly fat and low-hanging nipples gave
testimony to her maternal nature. Everyone on skid row — kids,
cops, prostitutes, pimps — loved her. But her best friends were the
homeless street addicts who live outside our Catholic Worker soup
kitchen, particularly Georgina.
By Rina Palta Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 02:59PM
Homeless people sleeping on a street on Skid Row
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES —LAPD Officer
Deon Joseph is the Senior Lead Officer for Skid Row in Downtown Los
Angeles, where the city is currently undertaking a massive cleanup.
Amidst the street sweeping and powerwashing, there are rumors of a
crackdown on the homeless population that congregates on (and
essentially lives on) Skid Row's sidewalks. Officer Joseph emailed us
with his take on the situation. Here's what he had to say:
As far as Skid Row being a sit/lie/sleep safe zone, they are allowed
to sleep on the sidewalk from 9 PM to 6 AM. But after six, they are
supposed to pack their items and obey all sidewalk laws. This is an
agreement reached by the city and civil liberties groups in 2006.
Prior to the Skid Row Injunction,
most of the Skid Row community did just that. After the injunction, the
sidewalk hoarders began hoarding items on the sidewalk, as the City
tried to abide by and respect the order of the courts (and continues to
do so). The hoarding anchored them to the sidewalk and they stopped
utilizing area services. The sidewalk became their toilet, living room,
and kitchen, as well as a place where many of them could conceal
narcotics usage and sales.
The items they were hoarding were broken items, such as couches, car
engines, TVs, chairs and other items that were simply discarded junk.
Other items were donated clothes that they only used for toilet paper,
or bedding. This atmosphere gave way to the thought of many from outside
of Skid Row that this was once again a place where you could dump your
unwanted items, and simply exacerbated the problem.
The fallout of this was a rise in crimes such as theft and violent
crime (some of which surrounded the property on the sidewak), a rise in
disease such as Hepatitis C, Staph, Scabies, and lice. Rodents and other
vermin were returning as well, thanks to sidewalk feeders who would
continue to enable to folks who were anchored down to the sidewalk. A
more important factor was the human toll, as we began seeing an increase
in sidewalk deaths and responses from the Fire Department for people
suffering from overdoses, or disease.
Here are some statistics that support this:
- In 2005, 93 people died in this 50-block radius we call
Skid Row. 18 of those individuals died in the streets in conditions
similar to what we are experiencing.
- After the inception of Safer Cities Initiative and its
three-pronged approach to dealing with crime and quality of life issues
(Enforcement, Outreach, Enhancement) Those stats changed dramatically.
We all know about the 40% reduction in crime, but even deaths were
- In 2009, 63 people died in Skid Row. Only 5 died in the street
or sidewalk because the sidewalks were cleared, and there were less
places for people to hide and destroy themselves via narcotics, or
unhealthy lifestyles that affected everyone. Also many people who truly
were in skid row for services were then benefitting from them which was
the plan all along.
After the 2011 injunction, I noticed an increase in filth and
disease. Especially in my area, where there has never been a BID
(Business Improvement District). I also noticed more people dying on the
streets. I took the liberty to contact the Coroner’s office, an
obtained these statistics for 2011. In 2011, 123 people died in Skid
Row, 15 of them died on the street. These stats nearly mirror what was
happening before SCI.
Another statistic that may interest you is the response from the Fire
Department as a result of Skid Being allowed to return to a decrepit
state. In the 1st 3 months of 2011 (the 1st Quarter), the LAFD responded
to 754 call for service. This is typical. After the injunction in
April, their call load in our Division and Skid Row began to increase.
In the 3rd quarter of 2011 (July, August, September post injunction) the
LAFD responded to 1,451 calls for service. The majority of those calls
were in the Skid Row area.
Now as far as future enforcement of sidewalk ordinances, we have been
on an aggressive campaign over the past few months to warn chronic
violators of sidewalk ordinances such as 41.18 (D) LAMC - sitting,
sleeping, laying on a public sidewalk/56.11 LAMC - storing personal
items on the sidewalk/42.00 (B) LAMC - Illegal vending on the sidewalk
before taking action.
This was done through passing out fliers, and verbally educating the
skid row community, and alerting them that future arrest and or cites
were pending. We have provided the aforementioned individuals plenty of
time to get their things in order before we take the necessary steps in
supporting other city and county agencies in restoring a healthy saner
quality of life in Skid Row again.
We will be enforcing these laws, while at the same time respecting
the injunction, and the constitutional rights of the individuals we deal
with. We have a storage facility nearby (Temple and Alameda) for the
large property of those we arrest. For items deemed a health and safety
hazard, they will be discarded as such.
With all of the hindrance we have in reducing crime
(AB109/Injunction/Jails Revolving Door) we have to restore a sense of
order again in Skid Row, via what many would consider the enforcement of
"so called" innocuous violations. But this enforcement was key in
reducing crime and maintaining order before the injunction, and it will
be key in bringing it back. I am proud of what we accomplished for the
past 7 years prior to the injunction, because lives were saved and crime
was reduced. And that to me is more important than someone being
allowed to keep a bucket of urine on the sidewalk.
[Above] is a photo of what I speak. The inhumane part of the photo to me, is allowing the man in the photo to lay in filth.
City to Scrub Streets for Three Weeks; New Storage Facility Opens
Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012 8:00 pm
Updated: 10:18 am, Wed Jun 20, 2012.
by Ryan Vaillancourt, Staff Writer
Major Skid Row Cleaning to Launch Tuesday
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – City officials are launching a major
street and sidewalk cleaning program in Skid Row this morning. The
sweeps, a response to ongoing public health concerns in the
poverty-stricken neighborhood, are slated to continue daily for up to
The plan, spearheaded by the office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa,
has been in the works since the County Health Department cited
the city on March 21 for health code violations tied to human
waste, hypodermic needles and other hazardous materials found in the
area, said Villaraigosa spokesman Peter Sanders.
Officials with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
canvassed Skid Row today, alerting people living on the streets about
the impending cleanup, LAHSA spokesman Peter Griffith said. Along
with the planned cleanings, officials have turned a city-owned
property at 432 E. Temple St. into a storage facility where crews
will take bulky items seized during the sweeps.
“We’re coming out Tuesday morning with the Bureau of
Sanitation, Bureau of Street Services and public health experts and
we’re going to identify those items which are clearly public health
issues as referenced in the county report,” said Patrick Butler,
assistant chief with the Los Angeles Fire Department and acting
spokesman for what the city has dubbed Operation Healthy Streets.
On Tuesday morning, crews will target Gladys Avenue between Fifth
and Seventh streets, and then tackle one-to-two block segments every
day until the entire neighborhood has been pressure-washed, treated
with disinfectant solutions and ridden of contaminants — from
vermin dens to clothing piles that could be harboring disease, Butler
The plan is long overdue in the eyes of Skid Row-area social
service providers, businesses and property owners who have been
complaining about public health concerns long before county officials
formally documented them.
“I don’t think any one of us can say we’re satisfied until
we see what the results are, but I can say that we’re delighted at
the response from the mayor’s office,” said Estela Lopez,
executive director of the Central City East Association, which
represents area property owners.
Conditions have deteriorated in Skid Row since June 2011, when
U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez issued a temporary
injunction barring the city from seizing and destroying
apparently abandoned items from area sidewalks. The ruling came in
response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of homeless individuals who,
after going inside to access social services, returned to find that
personal belongings left on the sidewalk had been seized and
destroyed by a city cleaning crew.
While the injunction allows the city to remove items posing health
or safety risks, authorities have operated carefully in the wake of
the injunction. Some critics of the city’s response, including the
homeless advocacy group the Los Angeles Community Action Network,
which helped orchestrate the lawsuit that prompted the injunction,
say authorities have neglected their obligation to maintain public
City officials had defended their unwillingness to remove bulky
items and sidewalk pile-ups partly on grounds that they had nowhere
to store the items. The injunction mandates that all seized items
(except those that pose health or safety risks) be stored for 90
Now, the city has a storage solution. The warehouse at 432 E.
Temple St. will hold all bulky items left on sidewalks during the
planned cleanings, Sanders said. Downtown-based nonprofit Chrysalis
will operate the facility.
The city also plans to reimburse the Central City East Association
for costs associated with doubling the capacity of its voluntary
storage warehouse on Seventh Street, Lopez said. Homeless individuals
have stored personal belongings there for years, but until now, the
facility has operated at capacity, Lopez said. Additional funds,
which will come from LAHSA, will help pay for the personnel needed to
staff the expanded warehouse, she said.
The Department of Public Works has hired a hazardous materials
expert to accompany city crews during the daily cleanings. The
consultant will identify items that pose public health concerns so
they can be trashed, Butler said. All other belongings will go to the
Temple Street warehouse, where they will be held for 90 days.
The LAHSA outreach team is informing people living on the streets
about the warehouse and directing them to the CCEA’s facility.
Printed notifications about the cleaning plan and the storage options
were seen posted on light poles in the area today. The LAHSA team
will also attempt to steer people to homeless services.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has appealed the Gutierrez
injunction. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the
matter. A decision is expected this summer.