Los Angeles Residents Using Prickly Plants, Boxes to Fend Off Homeless

Tents occupied by homeless people line the street, September 23, 2015 in downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles officials declared the homeless situation a public emergency. making Los Angeles the first city in the nation to take such a drastic step in response to its mounting problem with street dwellers. AFP …
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles residents and businesses are placing boxes often filled with prickly plants in front of their homes to deter the homeless from sleeping on the streets.

Residents say the homeless situation in the city has become so desperate that they are willing to break municipal regulations barring the boxes from being on the streets, the Daily Mail reported.

Peter Mozgo, along with his wife Maria, took action against the city after their venue on South Hope Street began losing bookings due to the homeless encampments outside.

“We lost so much weddings because people don’t want to rent it anymore,” Mozgo told the Los Angeles Times.

So Mozgo decided to buy large, wooden planters and fill them with dirt to see if it would deter the homeless from camping out in front of his establishment.

“How many tents do we have today? And who came in? And who moved out? And who flipped my boxes? And who graffiti-ed the front of my work?” Mozgo said.

While some businesses took action by using planters to deter the homeless, others in southern Los Angeles placed chain-link fences along their property.

“In general, a lot of things people have [put] in the public right of way aren’t permitted,” deputy city engineer Ted Allen told the LA Times.

Authorities say around 59,000 homeless people live in Los Angeles county, with 36,000 of them living in the city of Los Angeles. City hall statistics state that three-fourths of the homeless population sleep in open areas on city streets.

And the problem does not seem to be getting better— data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority notes that there was a 12 percent rise in the number of homeless in the greater Los Angeles area between 2018 and 2019.

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