On Friday the Mayor announced the opening of 13 emergency shelters citywide for people experiencing homelessness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
These shelters, located at our Recreation and Parks facilities, are following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for social distancing, and will include the appropriate number of round-the-clock staff (Recreation and Parks employees, medical professionals, security guards, and on-site meals) for people taking shelter.
Of these 13 Recreation and Parks shelters, the City has opened eight thus far. There are two adjacent to the 13th District -- Echo Park Community Center in Council District 1 (313 Patton Street) and Pan Pacific Park in Council District 4 (7600 Beverly Boulevard). I am working to get the Hollywood Recreation Center up and running as quickly as possible, since the need is great in this part of the city.
There are fears and concerns of bringing people together under one roof; however following the CDC guidelines as our County Health Director is advising, it is much safer for everyone to be indoors. We know that storms will hit Los Angeles over the next several days, so now is a great time to come to one of these temporary shelters and receive meals and safe lodging.
People experiencing homelessness oftentimes have underlying health conditions that will make this community more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is more important than ever to come inside, stay warm, stay dry, receive nutrition, and protect yourself from the coronavirus.
Homelessness in and of itself is a public health crisis and always has been. We must take this opportunity to bring individuals experiencing homelessness indoors in greater numbers, and work within all levels of government to keep people housed permanently once life returns to normal.
We’re all in this together. We must stand united so we can transcend this disease and emerge stronger than ever.