LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – Crews dismantled a homeless encampment near SoFi Stadium Tuesday in what some are calling an effort to clean up the Los Angeles’ image ahead of the big game.
Dozens of people appeared to be living in the encampment located on Century Boulevard underneath the 405 Freeway. Video showed crew members removing tents and other belongings beginning around 7 a.m.
This was the second day crews spent sweeping the area, which is one of the main routes to SoFi Stadium for visitors coming from LAX.
One worker said the sweep was taking place now so people won’t see the homeless on their way to the upcoming Super Bowl game. However, a California Department of Transportation spokesperson disagreed, saying the camp was being removed because of safety concerns caused by homeless people lighting fires under the freeway. The spokesperson added that people were warned ahead of time.
“Caltrans posted a notice at the site 72-hours in advance of the cleanup, on January 20, to allow those at the encampment time to gather their belongings and take advantage of services,” a portion of a statement from Caltrans read.
One woman said she plans to return regardless of why they are making her move.
“I’m coming right back here … They can’t get rid of me,” the woman said.
Homeless advocate Madeline Devillers thinks not enough is being done to help those being asked to leave.
“I think it’s all about appearances,” Devillers said. “There’s no equivalent push to get them in housing … it’s just ‘get out.’”
A department of transportation supervisor said social workers were at the location offering vouchers to people Monday, and that 40 of them were handed out. The supervisor said people would return to the site later in the day to offer more housing options.