AmishBengalFan Posted February 9, 2022 Report Share Posted February 9, 2022 Linky: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/26/homeless-los-angeles-super-bowl Quote ‘Trying to disappear the poor’: California clears homeless camp near Super Bowl Advocates and displaced residents condemn move amid fears for safety: ‘They are just trying to survive’ Sam Levin in Los Angeles @SamTLevin Thu 27 Jan 2022 01.00 EST Officials in Los Angeles have cleared a homeless encampment near SoFi stadium, where the Super Bowl will take place in three weeks, drawing backlash from human rights groups and the unhoused residents who have been displaced. On Monday and Tuesday, the state transit agency Caltrans shut down the tent community, which visitors would probably have passed on their way to the big game, calling it a “safety issue”. But some have accused authorities of forcing people out of sight without providing housing or services. “They are just trying to survive,” said Sofi Villalpando, who works with some of the displaced residents. “It feels like [authorities] are removing people so they won’t be seen.” Dawn Toftee, 57, who was living at the encampment that was cleared, told the Guardian on Wednesday that she lost the couch she had been sleeping on during the sweep and was now sleeping on a blanket on a nearby street where she felt less safe. “Now I’m at this site where I didn’t want to be. There’s been killings and shootings around here … They should let us have our home back.” Toftee said another unhoused resident, who uses a wheelchair, had also lost the mattress he had been sleeping on during the cleanup. She blamed the Super Bowl: “It’s terrible and it’s bullshit.” The controversial sweep comes as elected officials in LA have increasingly launched high-profile encampment shutdowns in response to a worsening humanitarian crisis. There were an estimated 48,000 people living on the streets in LA county at the start of the pandemic, the latest count. The strategy of sweeps, critics say, has prioritized aesthetics and the complaints of neighbors, leading people in established tent communities to be scattered into more dangerous living conditions. “No one wants to take responsibility for what is happening,” said Annie Powers, an organizer with NOlympics LA, a coalition that has organized against the Olympics in 2028 in LA, partly out of concern that it will lead to these kinds of sweeps. “We see this time and time again – with sports capitalism, celebrations or other big events like the Super Bowl or Olympics, the city tries to make the city look better for investors coming from out of town. So they’re very encouraged to try to disappear the poor from the streets.” “I have nowhere to go,” added Dawn Wilson (photo), 49, another displaced resident, who said she wasn’t offered housing and was now camping on a sidewalk with her dog. “They don’t care what happens to us. I am tired of being on the streets, and I don’t want to die here,” she said, noting that she had multiple unhoused friends who had died recently. A recent UCLA report estimated that 1,500 unhoused people died while living on the streets from March 2020 to July 2021. “Why don’t they come and spend a day or two out here, and see what we’re going through?” NFL spokespeople did not immediately respond to an inquiry on Wednesday afternoon. And lest you think the homeless problem in LA is just drifters and drug users and losers, a lot of what you would call "normal" people are caught up in the self-inflicted mess that LA and CA have caused.... Dawn Wilson, with her dog, Lily, stands at a homeless encampment beneath a freeway overpass near SoFi Stadium on Wednesday. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images I know exactly where this is. This encampment was at the corner of Century and La Cienega.... it's under the 405 and is in a direct path from LAX to Sofi. CALTRAN claims this is just a "routine cleanup". Yeah, right. LA is clearly trying to hide their homeless problem. What was once a great city (and state) has fallen so far that I see no hope of redemption. I won't get into the difference between California politics and my own, but I believe from the bottom of my heart that everything wrong in California starts with their politics and that their misguided policies have led to this downfall. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland.... these are warnings to the rest of us that tough decisions must be made, and that the price of compassion is only more suffering. This is one of many reasons why I decided I would not even attempt to go to a Bengals Super Bowl in LA. I will not willingly spend one thin dime of my money in that cesspool, knowing of the continued harm and damage that my "contribution" will cause. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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