On Tuesday night, parents and players from the West Covina National Little League teams showed up to the City Council to beg for help. They claim the homeless problem in West Covina's Del Norte Park has gone on for far too long, and it has now made it too unsafe for their teams to practice.
Little League President Adam Holmes said he told all of his teams last week to stop playing at the Del Norte Park, due to the excessive urine, feces, and drug use by the homeless community.
“I asked my league not to play there or practice there because of what we’ve seen lately,” Holmes said. “They’ve threatened people off the field, we’ve witnessed people in our dugouts sleeping. We put full chains on our fences, and they’ve broken the locks.”
League Safety Officer and Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Gabriel Lara said that the department sees these kinds of calls on a daily basis, but the response times are usually delayed.
“Officers say it’s not illegal to be homeless, but we’re not here to contest that statement,” Lara said. “We’re here to say it’s illegal to litter, urinate, defecate, smoke in the park, drink in the park, engage in vice activities in the park and vandalize our baseball fields.”
Back in July, the City Council had unanimously approved a plan to 'address' the homelessness problem. However, West Covina's homeless population actually increased from 48 people in 2016, to 277 in 2018, according to Assistant City Manager Nikole Bresciani.
“We’ve been finding glass, drugs and other stuff everywhere,” 11-year-old Esteban Garcia pleaded to the City Council. “This is not a home — it’s a park for people to play, have fun, play sports and practice.”
Read the full report on the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.