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Los Angeles impounded more than 500 vehicles from homeless living in their cars

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(The Center Square) – Over a two-year period, the city of Los Angeles impounded 555 vehicles that homeless people were living in according to a city report. The city gave housing to 186.

The city encountered 2,503 vehicle dwellings and impounded about 1 out of every 4.5 vehicles that were inhabited by homeless people. The city also issued 1,026 parking citations and 149 environmental citations for those vehicle dwellings. The data is from May 2022 through May 2024 in a report included in the agenda for the July 2 city council meeting.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass had been critical of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Grants Pass v. Johnson. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled it was not cruel and unusual punishment to arrest or ticket people for sleeping outside with no other safe place to go.

Bass said on June 28: “This ruling must not be used as an excuse for cities across the country to attempt to arrest their way out of this problem or hide the homelessness crisis in neighboring cities or in jail. Neither will work, neither will save lives and that route is more expensive for taxpayers than actually solving the problem.”

Bass continued: “The only way to address this crisis is to bring people indoors with housing and supportive services. In the City of Los Angeles, we will continue leading with this approach, which helped move thousands more Angelenos inside last year than the year before. We cannot go backwards – we must continue innovating and moving with intention and urgency until every person experiencing homelessness is able to access housing, services and support.”

Bass and city council members Monica Rodriguez and Bob Blumenfield did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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