In response to the rising numbers of homeless individuals as well as a growing illegal trash dumping problem, the City of Los Angeles wants to launch new cleaning teams across the city. The CARE (Cleaning and Rapid Engagement) teams would each comprise four people, who would provide direct cleanings based on areas “with the greatest needs” according to the Bureau of Sanitation, and would complement comprehensive cleanups. The plan calls for a team assigned to each City Council district, as well as a citywide team and one dedicated to the Los Angeles River. The team members would also be trained in mental health awareness and homeless outreach and would distribute hygiene resources.
“Our new CARE teams will help improve public health and strengthen the public good by providing a services-led approach,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a prepared statement announcing the plan on Wednesday, June 19. “We want to do more to connect homeless Angelenos with the resources they need, and bring added energy to the work of keeping our neighborhoods clean.”
The city would also pilot a “mobile hygiene station” with showers and toilets that would be deployed across Los Angeles. The new plan also calls for increased surveillance and enforcement activities in response to the rise of illegal trash dumping in Los Angeles. Activist groups on Skid Row have routinely criticized the city’s approach to cleanings and sweeps in recent months. The plan is pending approval by the Los Angeles City Council.