Homeless services working to clean up encampments as Bass' 'Inside Safe' program begins

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ "Inside Safe" program, which aims to house homeless people, was scheduled to launch Tuesday., and today some city homeless services workers were seen at encampments like the one at Cahuenga Boulevard under the 101 Freeway in Hollywood.

Many of those living in the encampments said they were ready to go inside, and accepted the help. Not all were easily swayed, though, explaining they had left other city accommodations, even hotel rooms, because they were being searched going in and out, and could not adjust to some of the requirements. Shelters are too restrictive, said one woman, even dangerous.

Another issue for some was pets. One woman with a small dog was told there was a place for her, only to be told no after she had gotten on the bus. We sat with her on the sidewalk, as people describing themselves as community organizers tried to help her out, eventually finding her a ride to a motel, where a room was supposedly waiting for her. She still seems to be uneasy about the whole process.

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It will definitely be a process, as those who’ve been working with the homeless population know too well. For many, it’s difficult not to be as jaded like some outreach workers and the homeless themselves have become. Many see themselves as pawns to what has become a political tool.  It’s taken some time for the problem to get where it is now, the situation can not be improved, let alone fixed, in a short time – something politicians tend to measure in election terms.