Homeless Los Angeles residents have taken over electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city, setting up encampments with all the comforts of home, such as televisions, barbecues, and furniture.
Videos uploaded Thursday on Twitter by @alexdatig gave a tour of various streets where charging stations overrun with homeless have no electric vehicle in sight.
“I’m just now driving down the street passing the charging station that is five minutes from my house on the outskirts of downtown LA. Would you be comfortable charging your $60,000 EV here?” tweeted Alexandra Datig, who produces commentary for various news outlets.
Another video showed gang graffiti on several charging stations.
“Taking a closer look at the graffiti, I wonder what gang affiliation you need to have to be able to charge your $60,000 EV here?” she tweeted.
It doesn’t appear that any of the homeless have found a way to hack into the charging stations but rather use them as guideposts to claim their turf.
Mayor Karen Bass was ushered into office primarily on a promise to clean up the homelessness crisis. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority counted 69,144 homeless within the city as of Sept. 8. Bass promised to house 15,000 people by the end of the year by creating more temporary, affordable, and permanent housing.
But the problem dates back to the 1930s, when Skid Row was founded, and city leaders have found no solution since. The population continues to grow, with a 20,000 increase over the past five years.
The crisis has come to the point at which a federal judge intervened last year and ordered the city to house Skid Row’s 4,600 residents within six months. That order has since been overturned, and the matter is still being litigated.
Bass made a homelessness declaration on her first day in office, saying she was hitting the ground running.
“I will not accept a homelessness crisis that afflicts more than 40,000 Angelenos and affects every one of us,” she said. “It is a humanitarian crisis that takes the life of five people every day.”
Meanwhile, as California pushes its residents into green energy, it’s safe to say additional charging stations will be cropping up around Los Angeles as a magnet for the homeless. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an order prohibiting the sale of new gas cars in 2035 while placing an increasing quota on manufacturers to sell electric cars.
Los Angeles has embraced this culture and has 62,851 registered electric cars with 4,296 public charging stations, the Daily Mail reported.