El Niño prompts an outreach effort to get LA’s homeless into shelters – Los Angeles Times

Michael Salisbury shook uncontrollably as he waited, soaked to the bone, for the Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library in Venice to open at noon Tuesday.

“I could die out here,” said Salisbury, 21. “I just need to dry off and charge my phone.”

An outreach team from St. Joseph Center, a Venice homeless housing and services agency, took Salisbury in for a warm shower, meal and a night in one of the county’s winter shelters. But his plight reflected the state of many of Los Angeles County’s 44,000 homeless people Tuesday: The streets were a miserable place to be as El Niño storms made their ferocious debut.

People clung to steep embankments and under narrow overhangs, or zipped themselves into tents on soupy pavement. Officials were concerned that roughly 600 to 700 homeless people were still camped out Monday in dangerous areas on the Los Angeles River.

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