Homeless people have taken over an underground pedestrian walkway in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz, and some residents want it to be filled with concrete.
Local ABC affiliate KABC-7 reported Monday on the chaos in the hillside neighborhood near Hollywood:
The tunnel is under the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and New Hampshire Street, and near Los Feliz Elementary School. Neighborhood residents say now that it is packed with the homeless and their belongings, it poses a serious safety problem. Parents and children now rely on a crossing guard to cross the busy boulevard.
“We’ve had reports of narcotics being made down below, people actually trying to cook inside the tunnel, trying to heat during the cold time with open flames, so it definitely became a safety issue,” said senior lead Officer Lenny Davis of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Davis says the city has tried countless times to secure the 70-year-old tunnel, but people cut the locks or slide through the chain link fencing that surrounds both of the tunnel’s entrances. An electrical cord stretches from a homeless encampment near the south entrance, down the stairs and to a power source inside the tunnel.
One resident of the tunnel who spoke to KABC said that he was just “looking for a job.” However, residents are concerned about drug dealing and crime — including from another, above-ground homeless encampment nearby.
Homelessness has exploded in Los Angeles in recent years, partly due to the high cost of housing but also because of substance abuse, mental illness, and the arrival of homeless people from other, colder states with less public assistance.
On Monday, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva visited Venice Beach and promised to clear out homeless tent cities along the boardwalk by July 4, where they have become an increasing public nuisance to residents and tourists alike.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.