L.A. Prepares to Begin Crackdown on Downtown Homeless Camps, Under Fire From Civil Rights Lawyers

David Ruther, who has been homeless for the last 12 years, points to a sign declaring a "special enforcement zone" posted by the city near a new shelter in El Pueblo historic district in this undated photo. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

David Ruther, who has been homeless for the last 12 years, points to a sign declaring a "special enforcement zone" posted by the city near a new shelter in El Pueblo historic district in this undated photo. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Outreach workers went tent to tent early Wednesday with offers of homeless services as the city launched a crackdown on encampments around a new shelter in downtown Los Angeles’ El Pueblo historic district.

The city plans five-day-a-week cleanups and increased police presence in “special enforcement zones” around a network of 15 shelters it hopes to build by the middle of next year.

Wednesday was to have been the first day of the stepped-up enforcement around the first shelter, El Puente, which opened a month ago across from Union Station.

But sanitation employees and police who later joined outreach workers from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority said they would delay ticketing and aggressive camp clearances until homeless people are educated on the new rules.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.