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With dirt, they can weigh hundreds of pounds. The gardening boxes are the creation of Peter Mozgo – about 140 were placed on the sidewalk to stop homeless people from pitching their tents. outside of his business.
How To Get Rid Of A Homeless Person
Mozgo buys boxes from a Bell Gardens ginger import company, paints the fire truck red, pays $120 a cubic foot for dirt, then uses a $900 trailer to ship it back to his southern suburb of Los Angeles.
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Like many L.A. residents and business owners, the 49-year-old says he’s frustrated by the growing homelessness — and the city’s often disproportionate response. there.
So as the city struggles to clean up the encampments and deal with the trash and chaos that sometimes results from them, Mozgo and others are increasingly taking matters into their own hands, setting up barricades in public areas to protect homes. and business. By doing this, they can feel the inadequacy of those who are homeless.
Every day, Mozgo said, he assesses the situation on South Hope Street between Washington Boulevard and 18th Street: “How many tents do we have today? And who came in? And who moved? And who knocked over my boxes? And who wrote the face of my work?”
Hungarian Cultural Center operator Peter Mozgo, 49, placed fences on the site of the roads around the center to prevent homeless people from setting up tents. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times
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People are waiting in line for the opening of the St. Francis Center in Los Angeles. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
At left, Peter Mozgo, 49, director of the Hungarian Cultural Center in Los Angeles, plants plants around the center to prevent homeless people from setting up tents. That’s right, people are lining up for the food bank on Center St. Francis opens another. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
LA is working to stop the growing number of incidents caused by residents and business owners related to homelessness. Meanwhile, in L.A. County has about 59,000 homeless people. In the city of Los Angeles, the population has increased by 16 percent this year to more than 36,000 – many of them live outside on the streets of the city.
In parts of South L.A., business owners have built chain link fences around their homes. Venice has seen a boom in sidewalk gardening. In Koreatown, orange bars often sprout a Twitter account documenting their existence. But other Angelenos began planting roses and spiky cacti in the “furniture zone,” the city’s name for the sometimes paved, sometimes grassy area between the sidewalks and the street.
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“In general, a lot of things that people [put] in the public right-of-way are not allowed,” said Ted Allen, the city’s deputy engineer.
The Los Angeles City Council recently passed a motion, introduced by Chairman Herb Wesson, calling on several city agencies to “cooperate to investigate and remove illegal fences in the city restricts free movement in the public street and reports. these efforts to the council.”
For Mozgo and his wife, Maria, the idea for the farmers started about two years ago, after they opened the Hungarian Cultural Alliance – a place they hope to provide to the brothers a place for travelers to take classes and enjoy Hungarian music and stand-up comedy. , among other things. Mozgo’s wife also runs a law firm in the building.
Peter Mozgo, 49, director of the Hungarian Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Mozgo placed 140 tents near the center in the 1800 block of South Hope Street to prevent homeless people from setting up tents.
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To pay the rent, they intended to host weddings and shows. But it wasn’t long before the homeless started lining the block. Center of St. Francis, who offers free meals and showers several times a week, is nearby.
Even after the couple dropped the price, they said, they would receive texts saying, “I’m sorry, I really like your place, but the road is not acceptable.”
The block was littered with food, fireplaces and flat screen televisions. The couple filed 311 calls in hopes that the road would be cleared and the area cleared.
Mozgo started placing plants on the sidewalk, of course without a permit. The police did not give him any trouble.
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So far, the accidents have been good. South Hope Street is clean now, many say. Even the few homeless people who remain have noticed that the number of campers has dwindled, most of them huddled together in one corner where Mozgo didn’t have a chance to put any crops. . It is also said that blood men become a magnet for rats.
“To get rid of the tent space, I can see it from their point of view,” said David Canup, who has been homeless in the neighborhood for seven months. “But there are a lot of emotions that are pushing us out.”
The area is much quieter, and Canup said the remaining homeless are doing their best to keep it clean. Even so, the planters contribute to the feeling of not being accepted – here or anywhere.
David Canup, 38, of Hawaii, has been homeless in Los Angeles for eight months and has a tent set up in the 1800 block of S. Hope St. from Los Angeles.
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People line up at the food bank in St. Francis Center. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
A gardener dumped trash on the 1800 block of S. Hope Street in Los Angeles. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
Above: David Canup, 38, of Hawaii, has been homeless in Los Angeles for seven months and has a tent on the 1800 block of South Hope Street. Bottom left: People line up at the food bank on Center St. Francis on the other hand. Right: A landfill outside of central Hungary. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
Businesses in an industrial area east of USC installed 4-foot-tall fences in the middle of the sidewalk surrounding their homes in an act of what they called depression.
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For months, they said, they called the city’s 311 hotline, seeking relief from encampments on Broadway and Hill streets. They complained about public pollution and homeless people setting fires, using drugs and engaging in prostitution.
“The only thing we’ve found that really helps is putting these fences in front of our houses,” said Daniel Tennenblatt, who owns a textile factory in the area. “And this is why when someone starts a fire, it burns the sidewalk but not the house.”
But for Tennenblatt and others, that led to information from the Department of Human Services that could lead to up to $750 in fines.
Although fences and sidewalks are illegal, the city rarely removes them, business owners say. The city’s Office of Public Services only issues complaints after they are filed, spokeswoman Elena Stern said.
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“The city will continue to cite illegal fences and gardens that limit … the public’s rights,” he said.
Realizing the problems facing the town, the Public Works Board established a special group to study how to restore update the city’s permit process to address these issues.
KTown for All volunteer Chris Homandberg points out places in Koreatown where property owners have put up gardens, fences and other barriers to keep homeless people from camping on the sidewalk, like this place in Westmoreland Avenue, near 5th Street.
There is a type of permit that allows some right-of-way violations, but it is mostly for things like outdoor seating at restaurants. Roses and spiky cacti are not allowed, Allen said – adding that Los Angeles has a list of what is allowed to grow in those spaces.
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“There is a desire to balance the desire to allow the improvement of the right of the country, but not to misuse it,” said Allen. “I think we’re not sure how we’re going to get there, but that’s the goal.”
Chris Homandberg, a resident of Koreatown and an activist with the homeless education group and advocacy group KTown for All, expresses concern about the fences, gardens and rose bushes that have proliferated in his neighborhood. .
On a recent afternoon, Homandberg surveyed a few blocks, pointing to lighted fences surrounding a section of the sidewalk planted with trees. Then he passed the Catholic Church of St. Basil, where someone planted a garden of thorny roses along the sidewalk where he might have pitched a tent.
Homandberg filed more than two dozen complaints through 311, and several sidewalk incidents were removed as a result.
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“These issues have not been resolved and the owners of the land are allowed to do what they want to push people out of sight. That’s a problem,” he said. “My goal is not to upset people. It’s working with this idea that you can’t approach [the pitch] by by pushing people
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