HOMELESS OUTREACH PROGRAM
The City of Lynwood plans, coordinates, and organizes strategies to assist the City’s homeless population in collaboration with other public and private organizations. The City currently contracts with the Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS) to provide homeless outreach within our community. The City understands the effects homelessness has on the community, especially in relation to encampments.
Encampments create a public safety concern for people who live in the space, because of the exposure to human waste, drug paraphernalia, and/or inclement weather.
Encampments may be reported to the City Public Safety Division at (310) 603-0220 or through the GO Request App, which is a free smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices featuring a simple user interface that provides citizens with a convenient way to report concerns in their community. All requests are investigated by the City’s Public Safety Division who determine the appropriate method for removing active sites.
How Cleanups Work
The City of Lynwood inspects and moves to remove unauthorized encampments as soon as they are made aware of the situation. The steps include:
- City staff find or are notified of an encampment site.
- The City’s Public Safety Division visits the site and determines next steps.
- The site is posted with a 72-hours’ required notice that the property will be cleaned up and those living in the encampment are offered assistance through HOPICS.
- On the scheduled cleanup day a private contractor or City services will clean up the site to meet Lynwood’s Municipal Code standards for public health and safety.
On the day of the cleanup, (unless the items are clearly refuse, hazardous or evidence of a crime) staff collects, inventory, and stores personal belongings if the individual is not present. The City will store all items at a secure location for up to 60 days. If the personal belongings are not retrieved within the allowed timeframe, then the items are disposed.
Response to Private Property Encampments
The City generally does not perform public encampment cleanups on private property. The City will follow the Lynwood Municipal Code to work with private property owners to ensure encampments are abated.
- Property owners are responsible for addressing homeless encampments that occur on their property.
- The Public Safety Division responds to encampment-related issues on private properties and will follow normal code compliance procedures per the Lynwood Municipal Code.
- The City offers property owners resources such as site assessments to assist property owners in mitigating future issues.
Encampments are generally removed by the property owner, in partnership with LA County Sheriff. If they do not correct the issue on their own, the City may abate the encampment at the expense of the property owner.
Response to Encampments on Other Public Property
The City generally does not perform encampment cleanups on non-City owned public property.
- If the City receives a complaint of an encampment on non-City owned public property (Caltrans, Lynwood Schools, etc.) the property owner is notified of the issue by City staff.
- Lynwood residents concerned with an unauthorized encampment on a non-City owned public property are encouraged to contact the property owner directly to learn about their response plan.
It is common for encampments to re-populate or move to a nearby location after the City has conducted a cleanup. It is not unlawful for individuals to be homeless in public places, except in limited and specific circumstances. The City will continued working towards alleviating homelessness by collaborating with homeless providers to find real solutions to homelessness. If you know someone who is homeless or potentially facing homelessness, please refer them to the City’s HOPICS Case Service Manager, Thomas Anderson at (323) 948-0444 ext 117, firstname.lastname@example.org .