How to report Homeless Encampments in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ)

homeless encampments patchredlandspolice-1471036029-3710.jpg

This  past January, the Bel-Air/Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council held a Town Hall meeting focusing on the recent Skirball Fire.  Questions and comments were raised on how to not only how to help the homeless but also how to report to appropriate agencies so they can either get help or, if they are happen to be in a brush area, how to be relocated.

Below is information to call for assistance with a homeless encampment--depending on homeless encampment situation and where it is located.  For instance, is it on a public right-of-way?  Then it is a Street Services issue and a call to LAHSA (details listed below).  Is the encampment in a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) —  think area like the Bel-Air’s Skirball Fire area — and there is no observed fire but just an encampment (tents), call the Mountains Recreations Authority (MRCA), see details below:

• If just an encampment, first call is to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) (213) 683-3333, website is  LAHSA becomes the first point of contact with the encampment. They are legally required to offer services to the individuals at the location between 1 and 4 times, they also have to submit proof of the encampment, document with it pictures and send that documentation to the Street Use and Enforcement Investigation Division.

• In VHFHSZ (hillsides in brush area) or park area, call Mountains Recreation Authority (818) 999-3753, website is

• For a faith-base organization's aid, call Saint Joseph Center (310) 396-6468, website is

• If you see a fire at an encampment in hillside area, call 911

• If a homeless person is suspected of being mentally altered but not harming themselves or others, call LAPD Non-emergency:  (877) 275-5273

• You may report a homeless encampment by calling 311 or using a smartphone app called MyLA311 and report it through the application (this works very well—you get a confirmation number and it’s much faster than waiting on the phone with 311.