Koreatown is Tearing Itself Apart Over Plan for Temporary Homeless Shelter

Homeless advocates and local officials in Los Angeles have staged their own protest in support of the temporary homeless shelter planned on a city-owned parking lot in Koreatown.

Koreatown residents have been conducting multiple protests to express opposition against the plan, citing the proposed shelter’s proximity to schools and its potential effect on local businesses.

The proposed shelter is set to rise in the heart of Koreatown, at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. The site is expected to house at least 400 homeless residents living without shelter in Koreatown, based on data provided by Councilmember Herb Wesson’s office. 

On Friday, supporters converged at the city hall to fight back against opponents of the homeless shelter which was announced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti last month, according to Curbed

Supporters of the project stated that the shelter would help provide a long overdue alternative to sleeping on streets and sidewalks to homeless residents in the area.

According to Garcetti, at least 15 temporary shelters will be built around the city, including a site next to the YMCA in Hollywood and another by the Homeboy Diner outside of Chinatown.

Designed to relocate up to 1,500 homeless people off the streets in the next six months, the shelters will start with the opening of the pilot shelter near Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles in mid-July.

As prescribed by a new state law, the shelters can be constructed with little input from the community, provided that the sites are owned by the city.

A permanent homeless housing is also being constructed under a $1.2 billion spending plan that was approved back in 2016.

However, opponents of the project in Koreatown have been stating that such as project demands more public outreach or consultation. The residents, who conducted another rally at the site on Saturday, demanded a town hall-style meeting about the project.

In response to the public outcry, a public hearing on the Koreatown project has been scheduled for Tuesday at city hall.

Featured Image via (Right) Facebook / No Shelter on 682Vermont and (Left) Chang.Org / Yes to Homeless Solutions for Koreatown

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