New Shelters, New Tent Prohibitions

DTLA - When Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the proposal to have emergency shelter facilities in each council district, he said they would be accompanied by increased street cleaning in the surrounding neighborhood, and enforcement of policies to clear the sidewalks of tent encampments during the day. It was part of the effort to get neighborhood stakeholders to support the projects.

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That will come into play in Downtown Los Angeles in a month. The El Pueblo shelter will begin operations on Monday, Sept. 10. On Oct. 10, tents will be prohibited from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. in the area bounded by Broadway, Cesar Chavez Avenue, and Alameda and Arcadia streets.

Plans to prepare people living in area tent encampments have long been underway. The city plan is for outreach teams to visit nearby homeless encampments 90 days prior to the launch of a shelter. Those teams will work to connect people to services, including vetting them for the temporary housing spaces. The teams will continue outreach effort for at least 30 days after the opening of a shelter.

Thirty days after the temporary housing spaces debut, the city will start “enhanced cleanup” in a “special enforcement zone,” according to Matt Szabo, deputy chief of staff to Mayor Eric Garcetti. There will be five cleanings a week, one comprehensive with pressure washing of sidewalks, and four smaller ones.

While tents can go up overnight, they must be cleared out by 6 a.m. Enforcement zones will be marked by metal signs, which outline the rules in English and Spanish.

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“During the daytime, we do need to make sure these sidewalks are clear,” Garcetti said at a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Szabo said that people whose tents are up after the 30-day period will not be arrested, but they will have to take their tents down.

© Los Angeles Downtown News 2018