[The following news release was provided by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Parks Bureau.]
Residents in the area of the Hollywood Bowl had filed numerous complaints regarding threats and acts of violence, thefts, panhandling, littering, people bathing in residents pools, defecation, and fires started by transients in encampments near brush in the Hollywood Hills.
Several times over the previous months, Parks Bureau sheriff's deputies made contact with more than a dozen transients living in the hills, joined by homeless shelter outreach workers. Offers were made for shelter, medical and mental health treatment, and other opportunities to relocate to an environment safer for both the transients and nearby community.
On Thursday, July 12, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Parks Bureau Deputies, along with the Los Angeles Police Department, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), My Friends Place, Social Services @ Blessed Sacrament, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center Youth Services, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Services, Step up on Second, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), responded to the hills surrounding the Hollywood Bowl, for a Homeless Outreach Operation.
Twenty five men and three women voluntarily relocated from the area and were assisted by the many groups on hand. Six of the individuals accepted emergency shelter while the others made their way to Blessed Sacrament Social Services in order to obtain social and health services. One man was found with a broken leg and unable to move from his encampment. He was rescued and transported to a local hospital for treatment. About 50 workers with the California Department of Transportation raked up and collected trash left by the homeless.
The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) are dedicated to the preservation and management of local open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services for almost 60,000 acres of public lands. The parks are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and provide comprehensive education and interpretation programs for the public.
Sheriff's Parks Bureau Capt. Stephen Smith stated, “We are pleased with the outcome of this project. We were able to address the residents’ concerns and help some of the homeless as well. Without the hard work and dedication of all the participating agencies, we might not have been so successful. We look forward to working with these agencies again and maintain what we have started here over time and today.”
In addition to its efforts to assist with today’s operation, the MRCA will provide habitat restoration for the public parkland that has been degraded. The MRCA will also follow up with further clean up and patrol to prevent illegal and hazardous encampments from re-establishing.
The Hollywood Bowl facility is owned and operated by the County of Los Angeles. Thus the Parks Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has policing responsibility.