A fleet of tow trucks arrived on Forest Lawn Drive in the San Fernando Valley early Wednesday morning to clear an ever-growing RV encampment.
The clearing of nearly 55 RVs on the roadway is part of Mayor Karen Bass's Inside Safe program, which targets the homeless population living on the streets of Los Angeles.
Flyers that read "Notice of Major Cleaning," and "No Parking" signs went up earlier in the week warning the RV occupants to clear out by 6 a.m. Wednesday for Thursday's power washing and sanitizing along the roadway.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said some of the RVs were gone Wednesday morning when she showed up. The supervisor said many of the RVs are rented out by vanlords, charging $400 to $500 a month.
For the RVs that do get towed, owners do have a chance to get them back if they are habitable. "We have a legal obligation to hold on to them and do due diligence as it relates to the owner. If someone comes to claim it then we will work with them," Barger said.
"But for those that don't, for the ones that aren't suitable for living in, they will be destroyed."
One woman who lives in her car was pulling her belongings from a storage space she rented in one of the RVs early Wednesday.
"I am just trying to do the best I can. I work two jobs and life is just expensive, that's what I see. I don't even have any kids and I can barely take care of myself with two jobs," Star Hodges said.
Barger said county and city leaders are coming from a place of compassion and resources are in place to help those that want the help. "Make no mistake. Today is a culmination of a lot of work that has been done by outreach teams," Barger said.
"But at the same time, we recognize the quality of life issue for the residents living above and the bicyclists riding by."
This stretch along Forest Lawn Drive isn't the first RV sweep for Los Angeles. They are happening across the city through the Inside Safe program, trying to get the people experiencing homelessness into shelters. An RV encampment sweep recently took place near Ballona Creek and another on the edge of Culver City along Jasmine Avenue.
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