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Hollywood Businesses Put Potted Cacti on Sidewalks to Discourage Homeless Camps

Hollywood Businesses Put Potted Cacti on Sidewalks to Discourage Homeless Camps

Potted cactus plants outside the Assistance League of Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard on May 14, 2024. (Jill McLaughlin / The Epoch Times)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

5/16/2024

Updated: 5/16/2024

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Retailers and other businesses on Hollywood and Sunset boulevards in Los Angeles hope cactus plants placed on the sidewalk will keep homeless people from setting up encampments outside their doors.
The Assistance League of Los Angeles, a nonprofit that helps homeless and impoverished children, purchased several large wooden planters filled with cacti recently to set outside its headquarters on the 6600 block of Sunset Boulevard.
Despite having a few of the plants stolen, the strategy seems to be working.
“We’re keeping them there for now,” Chief Executive Officer Melanie Merians told Epoch TV’s California Insider May 14. “We have many different people and children coming in and out of the building all the time, and we just wanted to keep it clear of tents for everyone’s safety.”
Homeless tents and blue tarps crowded the sidewalk a few doors down along the outside wall of the Sunset Sound Studio, where Prince, the Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and other music superstars have recorded chart-topping hits.
One resident in the area said the potted succulents have improved the blighted streets.
“It keeps things cleaner and gives [the homeless] less space to move them around,” resident Bensher Leandre told KTLA 5.
The latest point-in-time count of the homeless population in the city revealed a 9 percent rise in 2023, reaching an estimated population of 46,260 people, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a city-county agency. Results for the 2024 count, conducted in January, are expected late this spring or early summer.
Ms. Merians said everyone is trying their best to deal with the growing transient population in their own way.
“It’s very challenging,” she said. “[The unhoused] don’t have anywhere to go.”
Homeless tents and blue tarps crowd the sidewalk outside the Sunset Sound Studio on May 14, 2024. (Jill McLaughlin / The Epoch Times)

Homeless tents and blue tarps crowd the sidewalk outside the Sunset Sound Studio on May 14, 2024. (Jill McLaughlin / The Epoch Times)

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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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