In late August 2018 the Clean Streets Clean Starts program headed up by Don Larson tackled cleaning up several 405 underpasses in our area including at Roscoe, Parthenia and Nordhoff. This work was paid for by North Hills West Neighborhood Council and is the first of two clean up efforts.
The Clean Streets Clean Starts program is an opportunity for homeless people to gain work experience, self worth and bolster their self confidence while cleaning up an area. In exchange they receive meals, mentoring and connections to social services and housing referral agencies. So, we not only benefit from clean streets, but the homeless living in North Hills benefit by participating in this program. It’s a two-fer!
The crew removed weeds, trash, drug needles and more, working over several days and collecting 30 bags of trash in one day. They reached out to Councilmember Englander’s office who within 24 hours sent over a power wash truck to finish off the cleaning of these three underpasses, which see a lot of foot traffic everyday. The power washer helped address foul smells in the underpasses.
They also reported a few items to Councilmember Englander’s office that were beyond their scope including a broken corner at the Roscoe 405 ramp headed south and a hole in the sidewalk in front of a boat company.
As part of their outreach, they approached a homeless man who joined in for part of the work and will likely continue to work with Clean Streets Clean Starts.
We invite stakeholders to participate in the clean ups. This gives you an opportunity to see homeless individuals as people, not just problems. Participants become part of the solution, raising awareness that we need to address the root causes and not just the symptoms of homelessness in Los Angeles.
Don & and Clean Streets Clean Starts crew will be at work in North Hills every Monday and Wednesday through the end of September, between 6-9am. Showing up and helping for even an hour is helpful. It’s not about how hard you work or how much you do; just show up! To volunteer, please contact Carol Hart for details.