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Should LA resume sweeps of homeless encampments?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 19:  A police car stops near homeless people sleeping in their encampments in the early morning hours of downtown sidewalks on April 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. Most homeless tents and improvised shelters are taken down at dawn, before their possessions can be hauled away by cleaning crews. A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled last week that a city law making it illegal to sleep or sit on city sidewalks cannot be implemented as long as there is a shortage of homeless shelter beds in Los Angeles. According to a study released in January by the Los Angeles Housing Services Authority, there are nearly 90,000 homeless people live in Los Angeles County but only 9,000 to 10,000 beds available in homeless shelters, single-room occupancy hotels, and other facilities.    (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images
A police car stops near homeless people sleeping in their encampments in the early morning hours of downtown sidewalks on April 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.

The city of Los Angeles launched a crackdown on homeless encampments Wednesday near a new shelter in downtown Los Angeles’ El Pueblo historic district. The move is part of a five-day-a-week cleanup plan where the city will increase police presence around the so-called “special enforcement zones,” areas established around a series of homeless shelters the city is planning to build.

The city of Los Angeles launched a crackdown on homeless encampments Wednesday near a new shelter in downtown Los Angeles’ El Pueblo historic district.

The move is part of a five-day-a-week cleanup plan where the city will increase police presence around the so-called “special enforcement zones,” areas established around a series of homeless shelters the city is planning to build.

The current shelter in El Pueblo has been operating since last September. Outreach workers from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) went from tent to tent handing out cards to the homeless population with information about the new rules and the services they provide.

Sanitation employees and law enforcement said they would delay ticketing and aggressive camp clearances until homeless people are educated on the new rules.

Guests:

Tom Waldman, director of communications for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), a joint powers agency of the city and county of Los Angeles that was out at the sweeps yesterday, providing information to the homeless population

Andy Bales, CEO at Union Rescue Mission, a private Christian homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row

Jessica Lall, president and Chief Executive Officer for the Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA), an advocacy group that aims to increase investment into Downtown Los Angeles 

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