LOS ANGELES - If Governor Gavin Newsom needs voters' approval to get funds via bonds for the construction of mental health facilities, he could get significant support from the Valley Glenn neighborhood, a community that FOX 11 has closely tracked throughout its ongoing issue with homeless encampments at Laurel Grove Park.
Back in May, the park was closed off with metal fences for a major renovation. The closure left residents fearing the RVs and encampments moving to other locations.
Yet one man remains, stretching along the edge of the park property and the adjacent Caltrans area. Every time LA City crews come to move him, he moves his stuff to the Caltrans property, moving it back to the city area when Caltrans shows up.
One resident calls him Quasimodo – like the famous character who found sanctuary in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Most others, however, describe him as mayhem.
Residents showed us video after video of the fire department responding to fires the man supposedly starts, while doing things like stripping copper wires. Other videos they say show people running to their doors, and away from the man allegedly threatening others holding a pipe or a machete.
He doesn’t want to talk to us and continues working with some kind of metal drill in the back of the property. Residents say police talk to him regularly, and so do homeless advocates from the city, but he refuses to move.
The idea of forcing anyone into treatment is troubling, some say, but in his case, they see no other way to deal with a situation that is getting more and more dangerous.
"Without followup enforcement from officials," warns one resident. "All the money and treatment centers in the world will not solve the problem."