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'They Feel Held Hostage In Their Apartments': Neighbors Concerned About Growing Homeless Population In Beverly Grove

BEVERLY GROVE (CBSLA) - Neighbors in Beverly Grove are concerned about the growing homeless population in the area, saying that the unhoused seem to be making many more public spaces 'home' lately.

"They all feel sort of held hostage in their apartments," said Tro Gharibian, who lives in Beverly Grove. "And that they can't go out comfortably as they could before."

The reason is a small makeshift tent city that's growing in the median of Burton Way.

Around the corner in Beverly Hills, a fire on La Cienega Wednesday was apparently started by an unhoused person living there. Gharibian said the homeless crisis is more than an eyesore.

"The urinating in the median, defecating in back alleyways," Gharibian said. "Playing music at two in the morning."

Gharibian said talking to city leaders about the issue did not help much.

"It definitely is a difficult balance in how we are supporting our housed neighbors and our unhoused neighbors," said Stephanie Klasky-Game, president of LA Family Housing, which assists about 1,100 people every year.

She said this year has been difficult as the pandemic reduced capacity in their temporary housing units by almost half.

"In order to keep safe social physical distance we had to reduce capacity at all of our 22 properties," Klasky-Game said Thursday. "That does account for people becoming street homeless."

It's a numbers game that will likely change on June 15, when restrictions are lifted.

The city's new budget includes $791 million dollars towards fighting the homeless crisis. Advocates said the best thing we can all do is allow new housing into our neighborhoods.

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