Why Homeless Encampments Are Exploding in L.A.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there was an all-hands-on-deck effort to get homeless people off of L.A.’s streets. And yet, six months in, the number of encampments lining city streets, beaches, and even golf courses has grown exponentially.

The CBS Los Angeles I-Team spoke with members of the Los Angeles police department about the crisis. They pointed to several factors, including the release of some 3,500 non-violent jail inmates and the relaxation of certain rules during the pandemic, like restrictions on bulky items at encampments.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has touted the construction of new "Bridge Home" shelters. But the shelters have numerous vacancies while the tents remain and multiply.

Life on the streets is already a hazardous endeavor. Over the Labor Day weekend, temperatures in the San Fernando Valley reached up to 121°. And while coronavirus poses a threat to these individuals, the city says moving them does too. As a result, the I-Team reports, “city officials have publicly stated that during the pandemic, no one who is homeless will be moved from their current location, citing CDC guidance...”


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