LOS ANGELES - When Los Angeles County Deputies showed up at Westchester Park, it was to assess what’s happening at this park with the homeless who have moved in.
Alvin Murray was among those who made their way to the park, who says living on the streets "is a challenge… it’s scary."
The park is filled with dozens of homeless people who have their share of stories of woe. Murray, 45, says he landed in the park after flying to Los Angeles from Florida.
Shawn Sacks says he came from South Africa after losing everything during the pandemic.
Sacks says, "I came back here with nothing; came off the plane and was homeless."
Local residents in this area have been complaining about the growing tent city and its impact on their lives.
Playa Del Rey resident Theresa Torrance says, "The park isn’t the appropriate place for housing anybody. It’s not safe for the people that are currently here and it's not safe for the residents."
Westchester resident Tom Brewster says, "The park is being overrun. There’s no children’s programs anymore. We have no Lacrosse, we have no baseball."
Chip Mallek, also from Westchester, says "We want the homeless out of the park because the park should be a recreational area."
We saw women who identified themselves as county mental health workers and others who said they were homeless advocates. Some are trying to help the homeless here find suitable housing.
However, homeowners in the area want the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to take action because they don’t believe their city councilman is taking care of business. But, it was the uniformed deputies that local residents were glad to see.
After a recent sweep of Venice’s homeless, locals are hoping something like that happens here.
Deputies, however, say this visit by uniformed officers was simply to size up the situation. Sgt. Eric Ehrhorn told the locals at the park, "That’s exactly why we’re here. To do an assessment and see what’s going on with the park. And, hopefully, get people help."