Homeless people across Los Angeles are illegally using fire hydrants as a source of water to bathe, and shave, an NBC4 I-Team investigation finds.
The I-Team’s findings come more than a month after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the LA Fire Department to immediately find and fix all damaged hydrants near “high density homeless encampments.” NBC4 found the city has failed to do that.
The mayors order was in response to a July I-Team report that first documented how people living on the streets, desperate for water especially in the hot summer, were hijacking hydrants, often in the downtown and Skid Row areas.
Homeless advocates say if the city is going to allow thousands of homeless people to live on the streets, then it should provide them with sources of clean water, so they don’t have to use hydrants.
“We have a mobile shower program in LA, and it’s just very very small and visits very few places,” says homeless advocate Becky Dennison, head of Venice Community Housing.
“I think the city just isn’t interested in truly addressing the conditions of folks living on the streets,” Dennison told NBC4.