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Finding Shelter For 6,700 Homeless People In LA Is Tricky

A tour bus passes a homeless encampment located beneath an overpass on June 5, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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L.A. City and County officials presented updates to a federal court this week explaining how they’re going to move 6,700 homeless people away from freeways.

Turns out — it’s complicated.

The plans are part of an agreement overseen by Judge David Carter in a lawsuit alleging negligence in the way the city and county have dealt with homelessness. The agreement says that “alternative housing options” must be located in every city council district.

These options include:

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  • safe parking lots
  • bridge housing shelters
  • And, possibly, even safe camping locations

But lawyers for the City of L.A. say some sites — some park and ride lots — are bogged down by red tape from a reluctant federal government.
Some of that red tape is also being generated at the local level. Court documents say that some other sites — even some owned by the city — are unfeasible because of city zoning, or proximity to other homes. And even some privately held land that city had hoped to lease "became unavailable."

However, there are some sites likely to open before the end of the year -- many of which consist of prefabricated "pallet shelter" tiny homes.


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