Residents say the Echo Park fence keeps homeless people out of the camp; they want it to stay

Los Angeles Council approves $2.3 million for 2021 fireworks victims

Residents say the Echo Park fence keeps homeless people out of the camp; they want it to stay


Neighbors gathered Friday night at Echo Park to support the park’s fencing.

In early February, it was announced that the temporary mesh fence around Echo Park, which had been standing for nearly two years, would be demolished.

Some residents of the area say that the fence in the park is actually a good idea – maybe not a chain link, but maybe a more aesthetically pleasing fence.

In March 2021, a large homeless encampment of about 200 people was cleared in the park, and fencing was erected around the park’s perimeter in connection with renovations and redevelopment. The site cleanup removed 723.5 pounds of biological waste and 300 pounds of hazardous waste, including drug paraphernalia.

“There was feces and human waste everywhere,” said Nancy Ochoa, a resident of Echo Park. “The tents either get tall or there are fights and arguments between them.”

Things were fixed, improved and cleaned, and two months later the park reopened with the fence still standing.

The idea behind maintaining the fence was to deter criminal activity and make it more difficult for the camps to return.

The locals say it worked. The park is said to be deterred by vandalism, assault and drug use.

Los Angeles City Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez said back in February that the city would remove the fence because it hadn’t done anything to address homelessness. He says that it is a symbol of the failed policy of the former city administration towards the homeless.

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