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Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, Councilwoman Traci Park Announce Homeless Encampment Cleanup in Venice

Newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and Councilwoman Traci Park announced a homeless encampment cleanup in Venice Jan. 4 amid California’s stormy weather.

Bass said she and Park, who represents the Westside, conducted outreach with homeless individuals in the area that morning. Sanitation trucks could be seen in the neighborhood cleaning up trash and abandoned belongings in the days following the announcement.

The move is a part of the Inside Safe initiative recently launched by Bass, which seeks to temporarily place homeless individuals living in encampments into hotels and motels. The initiative does not include enforcement of the city’s public encampment ban, so if the individuals deny resources, they will not be forced to move.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass speaks at the podium at the Lorena Plaza affordable housing project site where she signed an affordable housing executive directive in Los Angeles, on Dec. 16, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“I’m proud to be locking arms with Councilwoman Park to change the way we approach homelessness in Los Angeles to bring people inside in a strategic and lasting way … Through Inside Safe, we will save lives and restore our neighborhoods,” Bass said in a statement Jan. 4.

Park said the initiative—which will be fully in motion by March, according to the mayor’s office—would provide greater access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment for those struggling.

“This initiative is to show that the Government can be a place to heal. We don’t just want to say it; we want to show it,” Park said in the same statement. “Putting people in rooms without the care they need doesn’t work.”

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
A woman walks past a homeless encampment in Venice, Calif., on Feb. 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Officials said in the statement homeless individuals—without specifying how many—living in encampments at the intersection of Sunset Avenue and Pacific Avenue have accepted housing.

Videos also showed workers from the city’s Department of Public Works and the Clean Harbors Hazardous Waste Management team cleaning up encampments on Hampton Drive. Police officers were also present. Almost all tents on Hampton were cleared by Jan. 6, except for two, according to Santa Monica Closeup, a local photo blog.

According to the blog, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and Saint Joseph Center provided outreach and offered services to the homeless in Venice. Some were transported by bus to a hotel reserved for the Inside Safe program.

Bass declared a state of emergency on homelessness in the city Dec. 12, the day after she took office.

Jamie Joseph

Jamie is a California-based reporter covering issues in Los Angeles and state policies for The Epoch Times. In her free time, she enjoys reading nonfiction and thrillers, going to the beach, studying Christian theology, and writing poetry. You can always find Jamie writing breaking news with a cup of tea in hand.

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