Sweep clears illegal camp

first_imgSOUTH EL MONTE – A 30-person homeless encampment cleared out by county crews in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area Wednesday included a working Jacuzzi, powered by electricity tapped from a nearby billboard, police said. About 21 of the camp’s residents had already left by the time workers for the Parks and Recreation and Public Works Departments arrived early Wednesday, said Capt. Sam Morales of the L.A. County Police Department. The camp was located deep in the underbrush on the banks of the San Gabriel River, in an area inaccessible by roads. Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the Whittier Narrows area, also took part in the operation. Members of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency and the Department of Public Social Services provided the eight remaining camp residents with vouchers and referred them to homeless shelters, Morales said. “Last month LAHSA came by and identified the campsite, and over the last three weeks they have been going in there, helping these folks get to shelters, to get out of the river,” Morales said. Among the camp’s residents was a woman who had lived there for two years, along with her two dogs and a cat, said Claire Robinson, a spokeswoman for Amigos de Los Rios, a nonprofit environmental group which has worked with county authorities to facilitate the sweeps. By the end of the day, crews had removed about eight dump trucks full of refuse from the camp, with six more truckloads still to go, Morales said. “Some of these camp sites looked like fully equipped, two-bedroom studios,” he said. Staff Writer Nisha Gutierrez contributed to this story. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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