California Crews Tear Down 3-Story Treehouse Being Used As Homeless Shelter
posted by Bill Galluccio - Jan 10, 2020
For years, hundreds of homeless people have been living in remote areas of the Sepulveda Basin in Los Angeles County, California. Last summer, two fires broke out in the homeless encampments, torching roughly 70 acres of land. After the fires, officials decided to clean out the area, which is designated as parkland and closes at night.
“The Sepulveda Basin is not made for human habitation, and we are the next fire or flood away from losing lives. We must do everything in our power to avert that,” said City Council President Nury Martinez, who represents the district in which the encampments are located. “As the fires and rainstorms have shown us, it is a major public safety risk to people living there, people who visit the site for recreational purposes, and those who live in the surrounding communities. For everyone's sake, it simply cannot continue.”
Authorities decided to tackle the project in stages, clearing out small sections over the course of a few months. As city officials and sanitation workers began the final phase of the clean-up, they stumbled upon a three-story treehouse where people were living.
Hazmat crews worked to dismantle the structure, and collect all the trash that was left behind. Officials said it could take a few days to clear out the remote area, which is supposed to be completely closed off to the public.
Outreach workers are trying to help the displaced people, many who have been living in the area for years, and get them in contact with local homeless services.