Democratic Socialists Group to Protest Removal of Homeless Around Poinsettia Park

Tents, now removed, that once sheltered homeless people near Poinsettia Park

A politically progressive group is organizing a vigil this evening to object the removal of homeless people last week from around Poinsettia Park.

The Democratic Socialists of America will hold the demonstration at 6 p.m. on the site of the ormer Poinsettia Park homeless encampment. That encampment was on Poinsettia Place, between Romaine and Willoughby, just outside West Hollywood’s border.

In an announcement of the protest, the DSA cited the fact that homeless residents of the area were removed in a series of both posted and unannounced sanitation sweeps and arrests across July 9-11.

“Last month, Councilman Paul Koretz of CD (City Council District) 5 assured his constituents that he was urging public safety agencies to: ‘bring every resource to bear to solve the crisis around the Poinsettia Park neighborhood’,” the announcement said. “This letter and subsequent actions of the city have been accelerated by anti-homeless sentiment in the immediate neighborhood, fueled by suspicions of criminality.

“The hostile removal of the encampment along Poinsettia Place should in no way be seen as a victory in the struggle to end homelessness in our area. Case workers struggle since residents were dispersed to make contact with those for whom they’d been working to secure possible housing and services. The city cannot legally prevent overnight camping, or the existence of poor individuals, but has established conditions so hostile to poverty and homelessness that banishment is the inevitable outcome.

“We are outraged by the recent actions of the community, sanctioned by Koretz, carried out with city funds, and increasingly replicated citywide, which do nothing to solve homelessness but instead render this population ever more vulnerable; destroying temporary supportive networks among the unhoused in the process.”

We call on Councilmember Koretz and local community leaders to Stop Homeless Hate: their stigmatizing rhetoric and eagerness for policing to solve structural crises well beyond its purview has devastating consequences for those trying to climb from the depths of poverty, without access to adequate housing, and to whom proper shelter and services are frequently denie


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13Mikeking
Guest

To say the homeless don’t want affordable housing is totally Crazy.why do they try to live in tents…because they want private shelter meaning a place of their own…Duh.i’am a Trump Supporter & I see That !!!

Cino
Guest
Cino

Sick to death of these “open-hearted” ANYTHING goes including heroin, feces, biohazards, VD! All within steps of where people live and kids play. This is NOT San Francisco! MOVE to the damn towns that you can afford to live in! Enough with this BS! Democratic Socialism is a more palatable word for Communists. Take a look a super-rich, one thriving Venezuela? Ring a bell! Caracas looks like Beirut after the civil war. It is destitute and has collapsed, all because of “Socialists” BS! Keep it up…you will sing a different tune when the money starts to leave. We have been… Read more »

CK
Guest
CK

C’mon everyone. You’re expecting too much. Our city leaders are already overwhelmed with handing out the key to the city to porn stars and tweeting about national politics they have no control over to deal with this issue. Give them a break.

Ugh.

Adrienne
Guest
Adrienne

These camps breed crime and disease. They absolutely need to go! I live in West Hollywood, and it is only becoming more dangerous. I have had three homeless people break into my backyard, they are constantly throwing trash in my yard, and two of them are using my property to defecate on. My neighbors and I have been harassed and chased by them, and the West Hollywood police do absolutely nothing at all. The people who live here are absolutely fed up with this. That being said, the city of Los Angeles needs to step up to the plate and… Read more »

JJ
Guest
JJ

I agree completely.

Anon
Guest
Anon

I will echo the comments: How many of these protesters actually live in the area? I just moved out of an apartment that was steps from the park. My neighbors have young children. We’ve had homeless wandering into our backyard at two in the morning, trying to break into our cars, and all of the other disgusting details you’ve heard about (masturbation, defecation). It’s one thing advocating for the homeless, but when an encampment clearly becomes an unsanitary, violent, noise-blasting haven of prostitution and drug abuse, steps from where children are sleeping… give me a break. I know a solution… Read more »

Randy
Guest
Randy

I admire the spirit behind this protest, and completely agree that kicking them out is not a long-term solution. At the same time, I’d like to know how many of the protesters actually live in the immediate area, and what their perspective might be, if they do. I live 10 blocks away, so not so affected, but have a good friend within 2 blocks of the park. His car was ransacked. He’s had neighbors that have had far worse things happen. Christina, do you live within a few blocks of this park? If this was (quite literally) in your back… Read more »

Carolyn Rodriguez
Guest
Carolyn Rodriguez

I agree that this doesn’t solve the problem but the neighborhood shouldn’t be subjected to the issues that come with the homelessness problem. It’s not like there is no access to services, many of these people don’t want the help to get out of homelessness.

Christina
Guest
Christina

There are 53,000 unhoused Angelenos for 14,000 spots in (often restrictive and dangerous) shelters. Services are not, in fact, plentiful, in spite of voters’ best efforts to make them so.

JJ
Guest
JJ

Exactly Carolyn. Almost all that we see are not searching for services. Most are drug addicts, substance abusers or individual with mental issues. Saying that it’s lack of affordable housing – for the most part- is not the issue. Many major cities have an issue with lack of affordable housing and they don’t have the out-of-control homeless issue that the west coast cities have. “We” -in large part- allow this to happen and for these individuals to do what they’re doing to our communities. Bravo for the city to final step up and clean up the mess.

Tati
Guest

You want abnormal to become norm. WOW…

Great job neighbors for stepping up and protect our homes and hard working families. Proud of you !!!
Thank you , City leaders, for support, common sense wins!

JJ
Guest
JJ

Right On!

Christina
Guest
Christina

Police sweeps, like the ones that have displaced the unhoused people here, do not represent real leadership from our city leaders. They are kicking the can down the road, figuratively speaking — using a showy, destructive technique (criminalization) to postpone addressing the problem of unaffordable housing. This tactic ensures that the problem, and the number of people suffering from it, will only grow.

Permanent supportive housing is the solution to our housing crisis. LAPD involvement is not.

JJ
Guest
JJ

Do you think the “unhoused neighbors” that are shooting up on the public streets and in the public parks are interested in housing?! Do you think the individuals that have mental issues are thinking “Gee, I need affordable rent”?! How about the drunks that are passed out on the public sidewalks? Do you think they’re thinking..gee if I just had affordable rent I’d swear off booze and start to pay rent”?! Give me a break. The vast majority that we see destroying our neighborhoods are people that have issues and now they’re not forced to get the help they need…they… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

Rent is much cheaper outside of the city. If you can’t afford to live here, it’s a great thing that we live in a huge country with lots of cheaper places to live. Go save up someplace else, and come back when you can afford it.,,

JJ
Guest
JJ

Exactly Nate. I’d like to live by the beach..can’t afford it.

Christina
Guest
Christina

JJ said: “This group should be using their energy to support more tax money being allocated to rehab centers and mental health facilities and changing the law so that these people can be evaluated and placed in care to get their life back on track. Supporting the idea of letting them live on the street is not doing anybody any good.” Nobody is saying that encampments should be the permanent state of affairs. Remember when we DID vote to have tax money allocated for housing, through measure HHH? Garcetti is trying to divert much of that money to policing instead… Read more »

Joshua88
Guest
Joshua88

Thank you for bringing up the measure and Mayor G trying to divert our chosen recipients of the funds.

Right on.

JJ
Guest
JJ

Everyone has empathy. We’re tired of hearing we don’t because we don’t agree with the way in which our local government is handling this situation. What we can’t allow is for those that won’t help themselves destroy what everyone else is working hard to maintain. It’s not ok to urinate, defecate, lay your body over a public right away (sidewalk). It’s not ok. period. No matter who you are. If you feel so strongly about helping your “unhoused neighbors” I invite you to open your backyard to as many as will fit comfortably. If you don’t have a backyard, open… Read more »

JJ
Guest
JJ

oh, and Christina..none of the people I have seen while walking past this park are looking for housing or a job…they’re looking for their next high or their next bottle of booze. And the rest have mental issues and are talking to their own shadow. To try to tell us all otherwise is utterly ridiculous and no one is buying it.

Those that have truly lost their home due to circumstances have social services available to them.

Christina
Guest
Christina

There are actually many unhoused people who have jobs or are enrolled in school. People are most commonly homeless because of the lack of affordable housing in LA. (That is why my mother and I became homeless when I was in 9th grade!) People become homeless for plenty of reasons, including losing a job, domestic violence, under-employment, LGBTQ discrimination (often crucially from one’s own family support system), aging, chronic health issues, substance abuse, natural disasters, and more. Are some of our unhoused neighbors struggling with mental illness and addiction? Sure, much like some of our housed neighbors. 1 in 5… Read more »

JJ
Guest
JJ

My point was that the majority of homeless hat everyone encounters are not homeless because of unfortunate circumstances…

Most that we have on our streets have drugs and alcohol abuse issues, and then we have people with mental issues.

All major cities in the US have issues with people that have become homeless due to unfortunate circumstance and shortage of affordable housing. The ultra-liberal, hands off approach that the west coast cities have taken with the homeless has created a problem that is out of control and growing. Our approach is not working.

Christina
Guest
Christina

It is much more comfortable to believe that people in bad situations deserve to be in them. Unfortunately, the facts don’t support that belief.

I do completely agree with you that a hands-off approach is a losing one. We need to hold our leaders accountable for real a solution to homelessness: permanent supportive housing, not the destructive stop-gap measures of policing.

https://www.citywatchla.com/index.php/los-angeles/14952-mayor-garcetti-helps-create-the-housing-crises-in-los-angeles-here-s-how

JJ
Guest
JJ

What I believe is that most people create their own situations and if someone has made a bad decision…it’s starts with that individual to want to change their circumstances…you can lead a horse to water..but you can’t make them drink.

Sam
Guest
Sam

These people were not removed because they were homeless. No one in this neighborhood hates homeless people – we all want them to receive help, support and vital services they need to get their lives back on track. I myself volunteer teaching job interview skills to homeless and recently paroled individuals, and I am constantly impressed and inspired by their determination to move forward with their lives despite tremendous odds. But this encampment was not populated with innocent, disadvantaged homeless people. It was populated by dangerous criminals who were responsible for sexual assaults, violent attacks, home invasions, theft, drug pushing,… Read more »

Christina
Guest
Christina

They were “removed from the area” — to where? Services are strained beyond capacity, and the mayor’s office is making little to no progress on the housing that we voted for in Measure HHH. Where did they go? The results of police “sweeps” — pushing people into more isolated areas; destroying medications, tents, and personal documents; damaging people’s ability to get a job or find housing due to citations or arrests — only increase instability. I hear your concern. City Hall needs to hear that you care about a real, lasting end to homelessness, not just about having people removed… Read more »

JJ
Guest
JJ

Exactly Sam. And the ones that were committing crimes should have been removed from the area to a jail cell. Happy to have the park back for the public to enjoy since they are the ones paying for it. And happy to hear the neighborhood is getting safe for people to walk the street again.

Josh
Guest
Josh

I agree that homeless should be helped but the residents shouldn’t have to deal with violence, crime, and public deification around their homes. A tough situation but I agree with the city’s action here.

WeHoMikey
Guest
WeHoMikey

The public deification really bothers me…

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Exactly! Create your gods in private, right?!

Joshua88
Guest
Joshua88

!!!!!
I didn’t want to be censored because of an ad hominem attack.

JJ
Guest
JJ

yes.

Christina
Guest
Christina

If we choose to create a society with truly affordable housing and a strong safety net, we could actually walk down the streets and not see any homeless people at all, because they would all have been housed. This is what the people voted for with Measure HHH.

The mayor’s office unfortunately is trying to divert money away from that goal and toward the showy, destructive alternative: criminalization. https://knock-la.com/lapd-makes-their-move-to-take-money-away-from-the-homeless-1a2e5532db25

JJ
Guest
JJ

I support what Craig has said. Let each member of the Democratic Socialists take in a homeless person. Until they are ready to do that, the public that is paying taxes to upkeep the park and the surrounding neighborhood want a safe, clean area and they deserve that…they are the ones paying for it. Most of the homeless that I have seen in and around that park are drug addicts, alcoholics or people with mental issues. This group should be using their energy to support more tax money being allocated to rehab centers and mental health facilities and changing the… Read more »

Cy Husain
Guest

First everyone who supported or especially capitalists who profited from all of America’s imperialist wars, should have to take home or take responsibility for a homeless veteran! After all the veterans make up majority of the chronically homeless. Do consider their addictions and mental health issues you complain about can clearly be traced to trauma experienced while in service because, prior to enlisting most would be considered by most mental health professionals to be better adjusted to society than the general public! FYI homeless shelters, mental hospitals and rehab centers do NOT get the lavish unlimited funding military contractors do… Read more »

Glenn
Guest
Glenn

I think every protester should come with a plastic bag and pick up at least one pile of feces before opining on what does not affect them personally.

Christina McClendon
Guest
Christina McClendon

I’m happy to do so! The human cost of overpriced housing in our city affects every one of us.

JJ
Guest
JJ

Bring more than one bag.