As the number of homeless residents rises in Los Angeles, streets and sidewalks throughout the city are filling up with the possessions of those who have few other places to put them. That’s why the Los Angeles City Council is considering opening up a new storage facility in Historic South Central where homeless residents can store their belongings.
As Urbanize LA notes, the proposed site for the facility on Washington Boulevard once served as a printing center for Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion. Now, the facility belongs to the city, and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is recommending the 20,847-square-foot building be converted into storage.
In a motion urging the council to do just that, councilman Curren Price underlined the need for such a facility. "The lack of voluntary storage for the city’s homeless residents creates significant barriers for individuals who are seeking access to social services and housing, while at the same time creating significant public safety issues relating to sidewalk access."
One homeless storage facility called The Bin already exists on Skid Row, but space is limited and the city has been trying to identify other sites where items can be stored since at least year. Proposed sites in Venice and San Pedro have met with extreme resistance from some local residents who fear that the centers would attract more homeless residents to the area.
One advantage of the Washington Boulevard site is its accessibility to transit. The building, which could accommodate 500 storage bins as well as shower facilities, is located along the Blue Line tracks and is just a half-mile from the San Pedro Street Station. Price’s motion also suggests that the site could one day be developed into housing.
- La Opinion Building to Become Homeless Storage [Urbanize LA]
- Venice Group Blocking Storage for the Homeless [Curbed LA]
- Some LA Residents Now Only Allowed What Fits in a Trash Bin [Curbed LA]