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Homeless street services stall as encampments continue to grow

• http://www.latimes.com,

The four-man, two-dog tent city — one of several camps in the 600-acre park north of downtown Los Angeles — has remained intact for at least two years, passed from one homeless person to the next, Brown said.

Last year, Los Angeles put money behind various efforts to curb encampments like Brown's until the city's ambitious housing construction program takes hold.

Funding for one strategy — camp cleanups or sweeps — expanded to $13 million. But spending on services for people living in the streets — mobile showers, housing navigation centers, storage facilities and homeless parking lots — lagged behind.

Of the $7.5 million budgeted for "street strategies" in 2016-17, more than $2 million was returned to city coffers, and nearly $2 million was diverted to camp sweeps, according to figures provided by city officials. Last month, the city approved an additional $509,000 transfer from services to homeless outreach workers to accompany cleanup teams.

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