Council approves motion by Councilmember Huizar calling for a triage-like response in Skid Row, with temporary, emergency trailers with services to house the more than 2,000 unsheltered homeless.
The Los Angeles City approved Councilmember Huizar’s motion Friday directing City staff to report back on funding and implementation of emergency shelter for Skid Row’s homeless population. More than 2,000 people in Skid Row have no shelter and sleep on the streets on a nightly basis. Council approved the recommendation by the Homelessness & Poverty Committee that the City’s Homelessness Coordinator, Meg Barclay, work with city departments to produce a report within 45 days.
Councilmember Huizar’s motion calls for a full study of the number of shelter beds currently available and an estimate of the number needed; cost estimates and potential funding sources; study of city-owned properties that might be suitable for temporary emergency shelter; strategies to ensure that participants in emergency shelter are being readied for long-term housing; near-term actions needed to establish the first sites with community input; recommendations for storage and other services needed to augment shelter and address street conditions.
“If this was a natural disaster, FEMA would be on the streets of Skid Row tonight,” said Councilmember Huizar. “Skid Row is ground zero for homeless encampments in the city and indeed the entire nation – we need a response that is equal to the tragedy that Skid Row has been allowed to become for far too long. We are building long-term housing through Measure HHH, but we need a triage-like response to provide temporary, emergency shelter housing with services in Skid Row as soon as possible. It is absolutely untenable. The shelter we're seeking needs to be identified and funded as quickly as possible.”
The Homelessness and Poverty Committee, which Councilmember Huizar serves on, approved his motion on February 21. The committee and Council recently approved funding to provide trailers as temporary shelter with services in a parking lot near the El Pueblo Historic Monument Downtown. Councilmember Huizar wants a similar but ramped up response in Skid Row. The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote on the full approval plan for the temporary trailers at El Pueblo next week.