Friday, February 17, 2017

Rosebud Ave & Corralitas Drive: Homeless Guy's Upgraded Campsite

Updated March 6, 2017*
 Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #1, February 14, 2017.  Homeless or IKEA promotion?   It's hard to tell the difference.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Corralitas Drive residents have been remarkably tolerant of the young homeless guy who took up residence on Rosebud Ave near the stop sign at Corralitas Drive more than a month ago.  The 2 Freeway overpass offers some protection from the rain
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #2, January 9, 2017. When the young homeless man showed up under the 2 Freeway in the heavy January rains, several neighbors attempted to engage and encourage him to move into supportive housing.  They contacted CD13, who quickly notified PATH, (People Assisting The Homeless).  One even neighbor organized interested neighbors in an effort to help move him off the street and into support services. 

PATH representatives and LAPD Senior Lead Officer Lenny Davis reached out to him Thus far, he's not moved into a shelter, choosing to stay on the street.  Neighbors are skeptical that he will move into one, since (even in each of the photos) there are often open bottles of alcohol near his bed. 

One of the largest impediments to moving homeless into supportive housing, is drug and alcohol dependency.  Unless they are willing to get off drugs and alcohol, they cannot move into housing.  The housing bonds passed in recent elections fail to address this very real problem.  County Measure H, on the March 7, 2017 ballot, would allocate some funds  toward support services, but it seems to be a drop in the bucket.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #2, January 13, 2017.  This homeless guy has been tidy and  has not been belligerent like some of the meth-addicted homeless who've lived up on the 2 Freeway's landscaped medians (before the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire).  However, neighbors are concerned that someone who reportedly is there all day and night knows when neighbors are coming and going.  Corralitas Drive is a very isolated street with only one means of vehicle access.  Our isolation makes us more self sufficient than most neighborhoods, but at some point, public safety becomes an issue.

Neighbors who own and live in their duplexes, have sent me email expressing frustration as a number of prospective tenants have told them they fear for their safety because of the homeless guy and the problems homeless attract. The tunnel has been hit with both Frogtown and Echo Park gang graffiti in the past month.  While the graffiti vandalism has always happened here, it now adds to the unease neighbors feel about the homeless guy.

Neighbors' patience has grown thin.  Many have said it's time for the guy to move on.  Hector from CD13 has been communicating with PATH and neighbors regarding this issue.  There are a myriad of issues involved.

Neighbors have been successful in using the City's MyLA311 app to get the graffiti painted out, usually within 24 hours of reporting it.  If the graffiti is on up on the 2 Freeway and inaccessible from the sidewalk, the City will not paint it out.  Report it to CalTrans.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #3, January 4. 2017.  A few days before the homeless guy showed up, the tunnel under the 2 Freeway on Rosebud Ave was the cleanest it's been in years.  The tunnel  is usually so trashed, that when it's clean, neighbors get pretty damn excited about it.  

A neighbor was so pleased seeing the clean tunnel, she sent me this photo of a woman walking her dog in the immaculately clean tunnel. As a 27-year resident of Corralitas Drive, I did not want to publish it, because I didn't want to advertise to dumpers and graffiti vandals.  A few days later, the homeless guy took up residence.  File it under: why we can't have nice things.

*UPDATE March 6, 2017: After giving 72 hour notice last week, the City's Department of Sanitation cleared the homeless guy's camp around 5 PM today.  He was back by 8 PM.  He even refused PATH's offer to get him into temporary shelter during recent rains.  Neighbors are growing increasingly hostile toward his continued presence.

You are not helping by giving him handouts.  You are enabling him to remain on the streets. It is best to allow the professionals to deal with this situation.  Contact PATH or another homeless services agency, if you want to help the homeless. 

For an explanation of the City's policy and process for moving the homeless: CD13.