Voices— Mayor Garcetti today outlined a new strategy to overhaul the City’s approach to street cleanups, deliver services to homeless Angelenos living in encampments, and address illegal dumping.
The City will no longer rely solely on a case-by-case, complaint-driven model for clean ups — instead creating neighborhood-based comprehensive cleaning and rapid engagement (CARE) teams that will use data-driven tools to provide public health services to encampments, identify areas of highest need, and ensure that the hardest-hit areas receive regularly scheduled cleanups and hygiene services.
Each CARE team will be assigned to a specific location, enabling the City to deploy clean up services more efficiently, and help sanitation workers build stronger relationships with homeless Angelenos in desperate need. The teams will receive specialized mental health training and deliver public health resources — including daily trash collection and mobile restrooms — to homeless communities.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to solving homelessness. This humanitarian emergency demands strategies that are nimble, targeted, and sensitive to the needs of our homeless neighbors and everyone who calls Los Angeles home,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our new CARE teams will help improve public health and strengthen the public good by providing a services-led approach. We want to do more to connect homeless Angelenos with the resources they need, and bring added energy to the work of keeping our neighborhoods clean.”
Pending passage by the City Council, the new plan will scale up public health services, crack down on illegal dumping, and clean up L.A.’s streets by boosting the number of sanitation teams from 20 to 30, and investing more than $6 million in additional funds in better equipment and supplies.
In addition to a citywide team and a team working on the L.A. River, each Council District will be assigned a dedicated CARE team.
The City will also be piloting a new mobile hygiene station, equipped with showers and restrooms, and is developing a program to train and hire homeless Angelenos to support cleanup efforts in and around encampments.
The new Sanitation deployment plan proposes four new regional facilities for a total of five deployment centers across the City: Washington Yard, Harbor Yard, East Valley District, San Fernando Road Yard, and Lopez Canyon Yard. Daily deployment from these yards would reduce response and drive times for the new teams; help tailor the work of each team to the needs of their assigned neighborhood to ensure unsheltered Angelenos receive services from the same crew each day; and result in more routine services to areas impacted by illegal dumping.
“Providing services to protect public health is at the core of LASAN’s mission,” said Enrique Zaldivar, General Manager of the Bureau of Sanitation. “This deployment plan does that and also further engenders critical trust with the homeless community.”
The plan will be overseen by the newly created Mayor’s Public Health Task Force, led by senior members of the Mayor’s Office of City Services and the Mayor’s Office of City Homelessness Initiatives.
The $6.3 million investment -- in addition to $26.5 million in existing funding -- will create 47 new sanitation positions, purchase new equipment, and fund overtime pay, which is subject to review by the City Council. If passed, the program would launch in the fall of this year.
(Provided by the office of Mayor Garcetti.)