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LA mayor's effort to clear homeless RV encampments moving very slowly

Early Thursday morning, heavy equipment began tearing apart RVs parked in the Wilmington area of LA where dozens of homeless people have been living, and tossing them in garbage trucks, then with a special tow truck hauling off several more RVs.

The dismantling of this RV encampment was part of Mayor Karen BassInside Safe program, which offers the homeless motel rooms, and the promise of a new life off the streets.

“I want to get my life together, get a job and just be a part of society again,” said Jose Martinez, who had been living in the encampment. 

Responding to complaints from viewers, last November the NBC4 I-Team questioned the mayor about whether she planned to dismantle RV encampments as she’d been doing with tent encampments.

“I want to get the job done,” Bass told NBC4, promising to start clearing RV encampments soon.

The Mayor’s office says it’s now cleared more than 40 tent encampments, but just two RV encampments.

“The RV problem is just getting worse and worse,” said Adam Johansson, who has called the city’s 3-1-1 helpline about a growing RV encampment on Valley Circle Boulevard  in West Hills.

Johansson said he’d like to tell Bass, “Mayor, you promised to remove these RVs from our neighborhoods. You’ve got to do better.”

The I-Team Thursday pressed the mayor on why the city has cleared dozens of tent encampments but only two RV encampments.

“Oh, it is so much more complex to clear RV encampments,” Bass told NBC4 in part because the city has to make plans to discard or tow the RVs. “I cannot tell you today how many RV encampments we will be able to eliminate this year.” 

Bass said the city is working with state lawmakers to change laws that would make it easier to clear RV encampments.

When pressed to give an estimate how many RV encampments would be cleared in 2024, Bass said it would be “more than a couple.”

“I hope that we can clear as many as 30 RV encampments,” she said.

The Mayor’s office told NBC4 it chose to clear the Wilmington encampment because it’s close to several refineries, which could create a fire danger.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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