L.A. considers hiring homeless people to clean up litter on the streets

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Los Angeles is considering employing homeless people to clean litter and trash from streets, sidewalks and alleys.

According to the City Council motion that would create a pilot program, the city receives an average of 200 requests per day through its 311 mobile app and website regarding dumping, debris and other trash-related nuisances, and trash also is consistently one of the three top reported issues to 311.

The motion, which will be considered by the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee, was introduced by Council members Joe Buscaino, Bob Blumenfield and Nury Martinez.


It says that the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Sanitation now responds to trash-related requests by deploying teams of “highly trained city employees whose skills are often needed for more complex projects.”

Daily litter maintenance should be outsourced to social justice organizations that could recruit and hire homeless people to clean up trash, similar to a graffiti abatement program in which entry-level services are outsourced to contractors who hire transitional workers, the motion says.