Downtowners are getting anxious about the city's lack of effort in dealing with the growing size of piles belonging to the homeless population of Skid Row. Since a federal court injunction last June, it has been illegal for law enforcement to seize and destroy the possessions of homeless people living on the streets of LA, rapidly increasing the size and variety of the detritus lining the sidewalks of Skid Row. The Downtown News reports today that the Weingart Center has offered to provide 90 days of storage for abandoned items at an empty lot they control at Sixth and San Pedro. Kevin Murray, interim CEO of the nonprofit, says that the organization is committed to using the lot for storing abandoned items and is also negotiating with the Port of Los Angeles for donated shipping containers to use as storage lockers on the lot. But since the Weingart Center and the Central City East Association made the offer in February, the offices of the mayor and the city attorney have not responded, calling any talk of how the city might work within the boundaries of the injunction "premature." The city hasn't been completely inattentive to the reemerging homeless population east of Downtown--the LAPD transferred more than 40 officers to its Central Division at the end of April, assigning most of them to foot beats on Skid Row. So, heavy police presence: yes. Allowing free storage for people's belongings: not just yet.
· City and Business Owners in a Skid Row Storage War [Downtown News]
· LAPD Sends Surge of Officers to Downtown [Downtown News]
· Venice Homeless Encampment Questions Answered [Curbed LA]