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A home filled with hoarded stuff in a southern California neighborhood has left nearby residents frustrated with the mess, yet also concerned for the mental well-being of their neighbor.
Debris is piled up in the front yard of the Los Angeles home - taller than an average person's height. Trash bags, luggage, cardboard boxes, furniture, pieces of bicycles and other items cover the yard and spill over on top of a station wagon in the driveway.
The piles stretch around the side of the house and cover the backyard as well.
Neighbors say the home has been in this condition for years, and the city has failed to take action despite complaints. In addition to being an eyesore, the trash has attracted rats and cockroaches, they say.
At the same time, there is a sense of sympathy, believing the homeowner, described as a nice, friendly man, needs counseling and mental-health treatment.
"I feel sad and I think it definitely hurts the neighborhood, the property value, but it also hurts the people that live there," said neighbor Sharonda Williams.
"They definitely need some support and help. I don't know who could come in and possibly help them or if they would be willing to get the help. But I also know that things are also memories for people. So there's definitely a mental health issue and depression in those things memories are stored. So hopefully they can get the help they need."
Neighbors say they have written to the city council and mayor. Until recently, they say, there was no progress on getting the mess cleaned up.
Aerial view of hoarding home
Then late Tuesday, word came in from the local City Council district office that the homeowner had consented to let city crews start cleaning up the property Thursday.
The office of Councilman Mark-Ridley Thomas says the City Attorney's office had a neighborhood prosecutor in court on Tuesday seeking to address the issue.
"Ever since this location was first brought to our attention in late August, the 10th Council District team has actively engaged the Fire Department, Building and Safety Department, City Attorney's Office, as well as appropriate County agencies and neighbors, in an effort to bring swift resolution to this concerning matter," said Karly Katona, chief of staff for the council district.
"At the request of our office, the Neighborhood Prosecutor from the City Attorney's Office is in court today seeking support from the court to address the public health and safety concerns by allowing City crews to clean-up the property in a timely manner."
Our sister station KABC-TV attempted to speak with the homeowner but he declined an interview request.
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