A Step Into Cleaning Skid Row

City News Service

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles City Council today took a first
step toward expanding citywide the Skid Row Clean Team, which works to prevent
trash and debris buildup in the area.

The team — which consists of people in the community who are homeless
or were formerly homeless — is managed by the homeless outreach
organization Urban Alchemy and operates on an annual basis. The current
contract runs through the next year, with two one-year extension options.

The motion — which was introduced by Councilmen Kevin de Leon and
Mitch O’Farrell — requested a report from the Board of Public Works on the
effectiveness the program has achieved reducing litter and bulky items and on
the feasibility of expanding it citywide.

“Urban Alchemy has been delivering quality service to the Skid Row
community,” said De Leon, whose district includes Skid Row.

“They serve as a model not only for the great work they provide but
also for the respect and compassion they offer to members of the unhoused
community. I look forward to seeing how their efforts might be expanded to
improve more neighborhoods where these services are needed.”

The motion also requested a report from the city administrative
officer and chief legislative analyst on potential funding for expanding the
program.

“The city’s No. 1 priority in addressing the homelessness crisis is
successfully connecting unhoused individuals to housing and services, but we
must also be cognizant about safety, health and cleanliness along our shared
public rights-of-way,” O’Farrell said. “This program has been effective at
remediating trash and debris while positively engaging with people experiencing
homelessness. It is also a source of jobs for those who need it. It is a no-
brainer that we would explore expanding this model across the city.”

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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