LOS ANGELES - Downtown Long Beach is the last stop on Metro’s A Line. When the last trains arrive between midnight and 1 a.m. each morning, everybody must get off for train cleaning... including dozens of homeless people with no place to go.
With the homeless left walking around the city, many residents say they are causing problems and crime in their neighborhoods.
‘’These people have no idea where they’re at, on our streets, and have nowhere to go," said business owner Orsa Modica.
Modica and other Long Beach stakeholders gathered to share stories, videos and ask for help.
Some of the stories they shared included homeless people kicking and breaking windows, one woman had her pants down in a store, exposing themselves to people, and creating trash.
‘’I have people urinating on my doorway, people coming with sticks... swinging at customers, exposing themselves to my young daughter," said business owner Angela Mesna.
‘’We don’t feel safe in this city. Everyone is carrying pepper spray, can’t leave our homes, don’t feel protected,’ Modica added.
Tuesday night, the Long Beach City Council voted to ask Metro to ‘reevaluate’ its deboarding policy. But some people say that’s not enough... residents say they want more police, more outreach workers and more shelter capacity.
Metro released the following statement saying, "Trains typically return to our maintenance yards, which are secure facilities and are not open to the public. Metro regularly sees the impact of homelessness on our system and has taken steps to assist individuals in finding supportive services. We will continue to work with community partners and cities across our region to find solutions to ensure the safety of our train passengers and operators."
‘’Our residents don’t feel safe, don’t feel they can be at work, don’t feel they can go out," said Councilwoman Mary Zendejas who represents the Long Beach area.
Long Beach’s homeless population spiked some 60% in the past couple of years. It’s estimated that about half of them are coming from the trains. This is not a situation unique to Long Beach; other Metro lines end and have to be emptied out, in the Valley, in LA proper, but this has become an urgent issue because it is effecting downtown Long Beach… with many fearing the loss of businesses and their livelihood in the area as the police ''do what they can'' and the city is accused of ''doing nothing''.