ANGELINO HEIGHTS (CBSLA) — A method of detering homeless people from sleeping in a part of Los Angeles dealing with the crisis is drawing mixed reactions from neighbors.
A homeless encampment once stood on a section of Custer Avenue in Angelino Heights near where the 101 and 110 freeways connect. The cul-de-sac right off Sunset Boulevard now has several large boulders strewn about the sidewalks and patches of dirt, ostensibly to prevent people from sleeping there.
Joe Illeng used to be homeless and now has a home and a family. However, he told CBS2 News this in no way to deal with the issue.
“If that was my brother or my stepdad or let’s say whoever — or somebody I loved and they were down and out — is this how I would want them to be treated? No,” said Illeng. “It is cruel.”
There are no homes along the short street, but neighbors from nearby businesses told CBS2 off-camera said they understand why this last-ditch effort was used.
L.A. is not the first city to see this type of deterrent. San Francisco’s public works agency placed large rocks in section of the city where encampments were a common sight.
Despite the disagreement, neighbors seem to think this is not a permanent solution.
“I think it’s a bigger issue and a problem for the City of Los Angeles,” said resident Courtney Aldridge, who was shopping at the adjacent CVS. “The problems are much deeper, deeply rooted than that.”
L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo represents the area. A spokesman told CBS2 News they were made aware of the boulders Monday and that the sanitation department would be removing them soon.