LOS ANGELES — A group of homeless people who had taken over several empty, state-owned houses in Los Angeles was forcefully removed by California Highway Patrol officers hours later.
Members of Reclaim and Rebuild Our Community said in a video message they are homeless and looking for a place to shelter in place during the pandemic. KNBC-TV reports at least three people were detained amid dozens of protesters.
The group said that among them are homeless families with children and seniors who have been living in cars and encampments and are looking for a place to shelter in place during the pandemic.
“We feel that amidst the pandemic, it’s irresponsible and inhumane for the state to be hoarding 170 homes,” Claudia Lara of Reclaim and Rebuild Our Community told KNBC-TV.
The CHP did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
Caltrans, which owns the properties, says the homes the group broke into Wednesday are unsafe and uninhabitable for occupants.
“As such, Caltrans requested the CHP remove trespassers so that the properties can be re-secured and boarded up,” they said.