Crime & Justice

Program will wipe records clean for LA-area homeless

Homeless women prepare for another day and night on the street near Skid Row in Los Angeles, California on May 12, 2015. A report released by the Los Angeles Homeless Authority on May 11 showed a 12% increase in the homeless population in both Los Angeles city and county, which according to the report have been driven by soaring rents, low wages and stubbornly high unemployment. One of the most striking findings from the biennial figures released saw the number of makeshift encampments, tents and vehicles occupied by the homeless increased 85%.  AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Homeless women prepare for another day and night on the street near Skid Row in Los Angeles, California on May 12, 2015. A report released by the Los Angeles Homeless Authority on May 11 showed a 12% increase in the homeless population in both Los Angeles city and county, which according to the report have been driven by soaring rents, low wages and stubbornly high unemployment. One of the most striking findings from the biennial figures released saw the number of makeshift encampments, tents and vehicles occupied by the homeless increased 85%. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Homeless people who've been ticketed for panhandling and other minor crimes in the Los Angeles area can have their records wiped clean if they accept help to get back on their feet.

The Los Angeles Times says the county-funded program removes citations if the homeless person accepts job training, drug and alcohol treatment or other services and performs community service.

Some of the homeless have racked up thousands of dollars in citations for offenses such as sleeping on sidewalks or urinating in public.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer says the program is designed to eliminate barriers — such as unpayable fines — that might block the homeless from access to jobs and housing. His office will conduct clinics around the county where the homeless can sign up for services.