Los Angeles Homeless Man talks Rats and Police Sweeps

Featured Video Play Icon

When I asked Norman how long he has been homeless, Norman responded he can’t remember but thinks it’s about six years. Norman lives on the sidewalk in Harbor City, a highly diverse neighborhood in the Harbor region of Los Angeles, California. Norman shares about how rats have driven out of his homemade shack. The noise from the cars and trucks driving by is constant. Norman says you get used to it. People adapt to living outside. He went on to say that homelessness has taken him to another layer to understanding a human being can survive no matter what the conditions are as long as there is oxygen and water. No one should have to live like this.

In Harbor City, police and sanitation sweep the area every three weeks. Norman understands cleaning for health reasons, but when LAPD takes all of their belongings, it forces homeless people to start from scratch again. It’s rare to the point of almost never happening that services are provided. Homeless sweeps just confiscate people’s stuff. Norman says they take their tents, their blankets – everything they have – forcing them to start over. Norman adds “if you are going to clean us out, help us.”

The City of Los Angeles has increased street cleaning and sanitation services for homeless encampments over the past three to five years. The City has done so with an emphasis on criminalization, harassment, and removal of people and their belongings, instead of taking a health-based approach to ensuring safe and clean streets for all. In 2019, LA’s budget allocated $30 million to homeless sweeps, which do nothing to end homelessness and are a waste of taxpayer money.

If you live in Los Angeles, here is a link for the City Council contact information broken down by district. Please reach out to your legislators to demand they stop the sweeps.

Nationally, please support Housing Not Handcuffs

We all must advocate for more housing and support services and stop homeless sweeps at the local level. At the same time, we must continue to pressure state and federal legislators. Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will worsen.

Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

Special thanks to Street Watch LA

More on Homeless Sweeps in Los Angeles:

Los Angeles Homeless Sweeps Destroy People’s Lives

Women Share the Horrors of Los Angeles Homeless Sweeps


IP 19 Logo Icon crop

Invisible People

           

We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Until then, we strive to be the most trusted source for homelessness news, education and advocacy.

Related Topics




Get the Invisible People newsletter


RECENT STORIES

Homeless man sitting on sidewalk near Skid Row Los Angeles

Prince

homeless woman in Grants Pass

Amber

Police Force Homeless Man To Relocate Twice In 24 Hours

Mississippi

80-year-old Woman Homeless in Sad Diego

Miss Katie


RECENT ARTICLES

Criminalizing homelessness hurts communities

Why Criminalizing Homelessness Makes Communities Less Safe

donations distributed outside a migrant shelter in Chicago

Chicago’s Migrant Dilemma: Navigating Shelter Limits and Backlash

one in 50 people in London is homeless

One in Fifty: London’s Startling Homelessness Statistic Uncovered

cycle of homelessness

Examining the Intersection of Homelessness and Social Issues

Get the Invisible People newsletter