LA Sanitation Gets a Head Start on Wednesday’s Poinsettia Park Cleanup

(Video by Brian Holt for WEHOville)


UPDATE:  The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, which has said it is going to conduct a major cleanup of the area in and around Poinsettia Park on Wednesday, an area that has become a gathering place for homeless people, got a head start on that this morning.

The Sanitation Bureau has posted signs in and around the park asking that everything be removed by 8 a.m. Wednesday. But already today Sanitation workers were on the scene conducting a regularly scheduled cleanup of obvious trash on the curb in the area, which doesn’t include tents or other personal belongings. That cleanup upset at least one homeless person, who spoke to videographer Brian Holt in the video above.

“Please remove all personal belongings, including bulky items from sidewalks, alleys, parks and public access areas,” the poster reads the poster announcing the Wednesday cleanup. “All property remaining will be removed by the city. Property left behind, except for items that pose an immediate threat to public health or safety, trash, and evidence of a crime or contraband, will be collected by the city and kept in a secure location for a period of 90 days, during which time it may be retrieved by its rightful owner.”

The poster also notes that the bureau may use power wash and street cleaning equipment in the area.

Conditions at Poinsettia Park, which is just south of West Hollywood on Romaine Street, have alarmed some residents, who turned out at the city Public Safety Commission meeting on March 12 to cite their concerns. Those conditions include temporary shelters created by homeless people on the sidewalk around the park. Residents also complained about thefts and break-ins that they attribute to homeless people.

“The net is, people don’t feel safe here because of the blatant street level crime,” Kris Nichols, a resident of the Avalon West Hollywood just north of the park, said to WEHOville.

L.A. Sanitation Bureau workers cleaning the the sidewalks and streets around Poinsettia Park (Photo by Brian Holt)

The concerns about the homeless at Poinsettia Park and the stabbing death on March 4 of a homeless man on La Brea Avenue near Santa Monica Boulevard have led residents of the city’s Eastside to demand a greater police presence there. The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station has said it will step up foot patrols and leave squad cars parking in the area to warn away criminals.

The Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department have been approaching homeless people directly to encourage them to seek help. The LAPD’s Homeless Outreach and Pro-Active Engagement (HOPE) team is at Poinsettia Park this morning.

The efforts today and Wednesday are likely to be only a temporary solution, with the homeless people moving north into West Hollywood or to other nearby areas in Los Angeles. They also may return after the cleanup, given that homeless people who sleep on the sidewalks can erect tents there so long as they leave at least 36 inches of sidewalk width open. They can’t camp on the sidewalks before 9 p.m. and must remove their tents every morning by 6 a.m. except on days when there is rainfall or that are very cold.

  1. JJ: I respectfully ask you what you think we should do with the homeless? Since you are so outspoken about them, I really would like to know your opinion. Thanks. Eric

  2. I’m sorry but the vast majority of homeless that I and everyone I speak to about this (friends, business owners, neighbors) is not down on their luck, lost their job or can’t afford an apartment. They are drug addicts, alcoholics, people with mental issues and those that just don’t want to work for a living. All the new housing in the world is not going to encourage or fix their situation. They have to want to get their life back on track.
    I think as a society, we’ve demonstrated compassion for a long, long time. We are the ones trying to get through this life by working hard and paying our taxes. Now our neighborhoods are being brought down by the homeless. We no longer feels safe walking our streets. We no longer can enjoy our parks without being harassed. We have an increase of crime, trash, urine, human feces. Our compassion is wearing thin.
    A good portion of our taxes should be put towards mental health facilities, and drug and rehab facilities. And when a homeless person is arrested, they should be evaluated and if found in need of service such as I mentioned, then they need to be placed in those facilities.

  3. Those homeless people are not going anywhere?!
    The dirty, filthy disturbing homeless “occupation “ is continue to interrupt our beautiful neighborhood living!
    And the City Council, LAPD, The Department of Sanitation , The Health Department, HUD ….ext and the rest of the Authority looking away and doing nothing about it !

    You be the judges of this video today!
    Real estate is ruined by homelessness on our street! Buyers are not interested in to buying in our neighborhood anymore, when it used to be the most desirable place to live!
    Mira Gralnik

    1. You are so right. The tree hugging politians don’t care about our property values. They are only concerned with taking third rate politely hack personalities and shoving their ludicrous opinions down our throats. Vote em out!

  4. Letting people live in tents on the sidewalks is not compassion. People I have seen around the park are not down on their luck in between jobs.

    I can’t imagine the bathrooms in the park. Too bad for the children

  5. I live at the Avalon. It’s right behind my building. They didn’t bother me. I even talked to them and interviewed them which you can see on my FB page Eric Jon Schmidt for WeHo. I’m really surprised that people rush to accuse the homeless of being criminals without any proof.

  6. I used to live near there but left CA in 2016. I have friends that are still living few blocks from the park, sadly, they don’t take their kids to that park anymore. Evidently, the whole area smells like urine and the folks there just don’t feel safe, being ambushed by the homeless. I think Eric and David made a valid point… cleaning the park up is an excellent idea, mean while, finding a way as a community to reach out and support one another (homeless or not), will bring everyone together as we work towards the same goal. The kids could help, too!! It’s an opportunity to teach children that people’s lives are more valuable than the things they have at home. We can do this… work together and share this park.

    1. I live near the park. I’ve seen the rapid degeneration of the public amenity there, to the point where its unusable day to day. The childrens playground used be full of kids and their carers/parents etc and now, on any given day its a ghost town. That isn’t right – we, and other parents in the neighborhood we know, take the kids to Plummer, or Pan Pacific parks. That compounds the problem – when the neighborhood abandons the space then the encampments become more entrenched and permanent. A ghetto space.

      The noticeable change, from what I’ve witnessed, came this summer past. The park was cleared (as above) twice, for the outdoor movie screenings. Both times, post event, the influx of transient folk was greater than before.

      There’s compassion in the armchair driver, abstract sense that I see many well meaning people ascribe to. Then there is the lived reality of people who have their neighborhood being turned into a suburb of Skid Row – Skidrose Village, if you like.

  7. The weho sheriff better not be letting them camp out on the weho side. It’s against our municipal code. No tents.

  8. Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t it primarily straight white guys who manage this “progressive, caring, open, non-misogynistic, diverse” city? Doubt they’d take a pay cut. Nice thought, tho.

  9. They can still put up a tent between the hours of 9pm and 6am. So they will be back. If you think they shouldn’t be able to put a tent up at night. Go out at midnight and see how cold it is. At least they can come back at night with their tents. The City of West Hollywood and Los Angeles need to step up and build structures to help house these people, feed them, get them Medical/Psychiatric attention, give them clean clothes, provide showers and help them get back on their feet so they are independent. We cannot be a Progressive City or call ourselves a Creative City if we lack Compassion. If West Hollywood would reduce the Payroll of City Management to Reasonable levels, we would have all the money we need to build structure to help the Homeless.

    1. Try living next to this as I do. These people literally rob the neighborhood dry on the weekly. I’ve called the police multiple times and they do nothing. Ive physically seen my possessions in their tent!!! Police have done and will do nothing about. So I’m glad the city is cleaning this up.

      Homeless issue is serious and im glad he city provides these laws for tenting. But if you’re going to commit crimes and theft while tenting then you don’t deserve to be here. Period. Great move by the city for cleaning this street up once and for all. Enough is enough. Stop robbing us.

    2. You have no idea what you are talking about. There’s tons of services for the homeless, but they cannot be forced to use them. They have now taken to becoming criminals, and I for one, am sick of it. You obviously don’t pay property taxes.

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