City Council Committee Looking Into Hiring Homeless for City Cleanups - NBC Southern California
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Streets of Shame

Southern California's Homelessness Epidemic

City Council Committee Looking Into Hiring Homeless for City Cleanups

The prospect of paying homeless people for sanitation tasks has been considered for at least five years by Los Angeles city officials, with the latest idea starting two years ago.

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    City Council Committee Looking Into Hiring Homeless for City Cleanups
    Khallid Shabazz
    Scenes from the alley of 12th Street and Central Avenue in downtown LA in August of 2019.

    A Los Angeles City Council committee Tuesday requested a report on what resources would be needed to create a pilot program that would hire homeless people for cleanup efforts around the city.

    The program, called the Loose Litter Cleanup, could cost millions, based on reports from 2018.

    "I think we need to roll out a wider net to find other approaches, other programs that may be able to come in at a cheaper-per-person cost to ensure the best result," City Councilman Paul Krekorian said during a meeting of the council's Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee. "Especially with homelessness, we launch our pilot programs and that's the last thing anyone hears about it. Are there ways we can serve people for less money? We don't (ask) that very often as a city."

    City Councilwoman Nury Martinez, who chairs the committee, directed city officials to report on an ``an appropriate'' framework for the cleanup pilot program and to make recommendations on a funding strategy.

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    The city did not allocate funding for the pilot program in this year's budget, but Krekorian said there could be some funds available.

    Nonprofit organizations could be tapped to coordinate the Loose Litter Cleanup program, and the city's Office of Community Beautification estimates that such partnerships could save $1 million by using existing staffing resources, vehicles, supplies and equipment.

    The prospect of paying homeless people for sanitation tasks has been considered for at least five years by Los Angeles city officials, with the latest idea starting two years ago.

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