Los Angeles officials are moving forward with a plan to temporarily house dozens of homeless residents near the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, where the city was founded in 1781.
On Friday, the city council unanimously approved the proposal, which will bring five trailers to a city-owned parking lot at the southeast corner of the historic site. Three of the trailers will be used as shelter housing (they’ll have 20 beds each), one will include bathrooms and showers, and the fifth will have office space for on-site case managers able to help residents navigate the path to permanent housing.
Expected to be operational by this summer, the facility will cost about $2.4 million to build and operate in its first year. On top of that, a report from the Bureau of Engineering indicates the city will lose out on between $300 and $350 in parking revenue each weekday, and between $650 and $750 for every weekend day.
But Councilmember Jose Huizar, who introduced the council motion calling for the temporary complex, suggests the need for such a project has become too great to ignore.
“It is clear to everyone in Los Angeles, we need temporary, emergency housing and we need it now,” said Huizar in a statement.
Construction is now underway on several projects funded by Measure HHH, a ballot initiative that gave LA leaders $1.2 billion to spend on permanent supportive housing specifically geared to house the homeless longterm. But Huizar argues that stopgap facilities are also necessary to provide a “triage-like response” to a homeless crisis that’s only gotten worse in recent years.
At a meeting of the council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee last month, Councilmember Mike Bonin suggested temporary shelter solutions like this one should be adopted citywide.