Desperate to Get Rid of the Homeless, Some in L.A. Turn to Obstacles to Protect Homes and Businesses

A man sleeps in a planter on South Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

A man sleeps in a planter on South Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

With dirt, they can weigh hundreds of pounds. The makeshift planter boxes are Peter Mozgo’s creations — roughly 140 of them lined up on the sidewalk to prevent homeless people from pitching tents outside his business.

Mozgo acquires the boxes from a Bell Gardens company that imports ginger, paints them firetruck red, pays $120 per cubic yard for dirt and then uses a $900 trailer to haul it all back to his neighborhood on the south end of downtown Los Angeles.

Like many L.A. residents and business owners, the 49-year-old says he is frustrated by the growing homelessness crisis — and the city’s often uneven response to it.

So as the city struggles to clear encampments and get a handle on the trash and chaos that sometimes emanate from them, Mozgo and others increasingly are taking matters into their own hands, putting obstacles in public spaces to protect their homes and businesses. By doing that, they can make homeless people feel unwelcome.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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