Aerial view rendering of the homeless shelters planned for 7570 N. Figueroa St in Eagle Rock, across from the Eagle Rock Recreation Center.

Approval expected this week to build pallet shelters for the homeless in Eagle Rock

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By T.A. Hendrickson

The plan to build small, prefabricated shelter units for the homeless in the Eagle Rock Rec Center overflow parking lot on N. Figueroa Street will come before the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners on Thursday, June 17.

The five-member Board is expected to approve the plan, championed by CD 14 Councilmember Kevin de León and passed by the full Los Angeles City Council on March 17. Approval by the Board commissioners will pave the way for construction of the units, also known as “pallet shelters” or “tiny homes,” with occupancy likely in the fall.

Pallet housing units, like these in North Hollywood, generally measure 8’x8′. | Photo in LAist.com/Fonda Rosing,Hope of the Valley

The plan for Eagle Rock calls for 48 pallet shelters, most of them measuring 8’ x 8’, according to the report prepared for the Board commissioners by the parks department staff.  Maximum occupancy would be 93 homeless individuals, though actual occupancy could be much less, assuming that units capable of sleeping two people would likely be occupied by only one person at a time.

The site will also include mobile shower and lavatory facilities and pallet units for administrative offices, a laundry station, a security station and food storage. There will also be an outdoor seating area, including an eating area with picnic tables, fencing, umbrellas for shade and drinking fountains.

Parking for the people who work at the pallet shelter site will be within the lot itself. Southern California Edison (SCE), which owns the part of the lot that has power lines overhead, has licensed the use of a portion of its property to the city for vehicular parking, according to Ron Gales, a spokesperson for SCE.

The Eagle Rock pallet shelter community will be the fifth such site approved by the Board on park property in L.A. in the past year.

The pallet shelter community for Highland Park will be located along an unused stretch of Arroyo Seco Drive next to the 110 Freeway | Photo by Bill Hendrickson/Boulevard Sentinel.

Most recently, on April 15, the Board approved construction and operation of a 115-unit tiny-home village in Highland Park, to be located on an unused portion of Arroyo Seco Drive next to the 110 Freeway, within the boundaries of Hermon Park (also known as Arroyo Seco Park).

Pallet shelter sites, approved for up to three years by the park Board commissioners, are intended as temporary bridge housing for the homeless as they access on-site social services and other assistance to help secure permanent housing. The sites in Eagle Rock and Highland Park will be operated by experienced nonprofit homeless service providers: Union Station Homeless Services is set to run the site in Eagle Rock and Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission will run the site in Highland Park

The establishment of pallet shelter communities in Eagle Rock and Highland Park, both in CD 14,  is one part of a far-reaching plan put forward by Councilmember De León to combat homelessness in L.A.

In addition to support by the City Council and the staff of the city’s parks department, the plan for local pallet communities has support from the neighborhood councils in Eagle Rock and Highland Park, as well as from advocates for the homeless. Recent legal rulings on the emergency nature of the homelessness crisis in L.A., summarized in the park staff report, have also underscored the need for more shelter for the homeless.

Opposition to the plan for local pallet shelters has come mainly from residents of Eagle Rock, where the location of the shelters is more visible and closer to park users than in Highland Park.

The agenda for the meeting on June 17 of the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners is here. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. Anyone wishing to address the commission must dial 669-900-6833 and enter 811 4941 5559 and then press #. Instructions on how to sign up for public comment will be given to listeners at the start of the meeting. Each speaker will be granted a maximum of two minutes.

Local advocates for the homeless have been told that CD 14 will hold community meetings to answer questions from stakeholders about the pallet communities, on June 23 for questions on the Highland Park site and June 28 for questions on the Eagle Rock site. Confirmation of the meeting and details on how to attend were not available as of this posting, but the Boulevard Sentinel will post such details as soon as they are confirmed.


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10 thoughts on “Approval expected this week to build pallet shelters for the homeless in Eagle Rock

  1. I am concern how quickly the process of approval without asking the community citizen about their feedback how this will impacts their neighborhood

    1. They don’t care about community input, and actually, they can just say the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council unanimously favored it, which will “represent the community.” There’s will be no enforceable rules about drug use or sales behind the new fence, or any requirement that people currently living in tents move into this parking lot. It’ll be more, more, more of the same that we have now, with a vague promise of “security” but zero extra police presence.

  2. No information on what the rules are for living in these tiny houses. Example: are they allowed to have other belongs scattered around the outside of the houses like they do with their tents. are they allowed to have dogs, cats or other domestic pets living there with them? What is the action to be taken if they break any of the rules. Need more information in detail.

    1. This is being guided by a Housing First philosophy, i.e. put someone who’s drug-addicted or mentally ill in housing before requiring anything of them because if unhoused, they won’t follow any rules or programming anyway. But no, we’ve read no details about any expectations or qualifications for living in these places other than their being local and homeless. Likewise, no specific assurances about security at the lot other than “there will be security.” If I lived within a couple of blocks of here, and some people do, that wouldn’t be enough information, but the commissioners and city officials aren’t anticipating how this will play out.

  3. I have lived in Eagle rock for a very long time and not one person asked me if I wanted this in my neighborhood. We already have drug addicts that are homeless, we have a lot of homeless that are mentally ill walking around our streets spitting, shouting, pooping, drug dealing on colorado blvd and now you want to bring this here? NO ONE asked me. I am EAgle Rock not the so called Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council. I want to know where these so called ERNC live? meaning do they reside in Eagle rock? I bet they do not. This was a very sneaky way to do this. We the people were not asked or I did not see any flyers or anything passed down to us asking if we wanted this. WE DO NOT! I just spoke to all the businesses in EAgle Rock on Colorado blvd and to some old home owners and they do not approve of this. This is BS. We have tons of land in Sylmar, Simi Valley San Bernadino, why can’t you build something there? because I bet their residents do not want this either. I demand to see a list of the rules associated with these tents. I hate all those homeless people around MCdonalds on Figueroa and Colorado asking for money, Drug dealers under the 134 bridge, mental people walking around spitting, shouting and defecating in front of the ERClinic on Colorado Blvd, all that junk that has been accumulating by the homeless off the 2fwy on Colorado close to the Eagle Rock Plaza. TOO much Junk. I can’t even take walks around anymore without bumping to a mentally ill person or a drug dealer or someone that’s drugged up sitting outside 7eleven, La Fuente restaurant, Eagle Rock Plaza, by the church, by the Post office, Mcdonalds, the fire station on Figueroa, the dog park, the Park where children go. Do you really think we believe you that we the citizens of eagle rock approved of this being built here? I’m really angry that I have been living in Eagle Rock for more than 20 years and not one person asked for my vote. We the citizens of Eagle Rock demand an apology for voting and lying that we approved this move, WE DID NOT. We also want to see the list of Rules. NO Drug dealing, NO JUNK accumulation period. Also someone from the state or city needs to weekly come and do check ups to make sure the rules are being followed. This encampment CANNOT be permanent. this is not a way to combat homelessness by putting them somewhere and forgetting them. We also want police patrolling these areas or a group of designated people similar to the cops with authority to comeby periodically. I just had a confrontation with gentleman that said he was from Africa that was shouting and spitting at a couple by the new Ding Tea place on colorado blvd, he was shouting in a different language harrassing the businesses close to Ding Tea, customers rushing inside some restaurants and closing their doors because this man was spitting, shouting, scratching his butt and moving his arms with a fist on the air. WHO the heck wants that on a daily basis. We also have another man walking around naked with a blanket by Eagle Rock Elementary school, burger king and Fosters Freeze, we have a woman that has brought so much junk by the church and barber shop blocking the sidewalk. and all those motorhomes with lots of bikes like a business but it’s broken bikes and lots of other junk and lots of homeless people that come in and out of that motorhome reeking of pot. This is all close to Eagle Rock Elementary school. WE DO NOT WANT THIS TO BE PERMANENT.

    1. @I Love Eagle Rock: You might want to share your ideas with ERNC reps (ernc.la), CD 14 office, Rec and Parks commissioners, and Union Station Homeless Services, who will be running the tiny home thing at the parking lot.

  4. The Rec and Parks commissioners voted unanimously to approve this shelter. Best of luck to the homeowners who live nearby.

  5. To whoever’s complaining about this…seriously?! The area under the freeway and next to the dog park is littered with makeshift tents and trash. There must be over a dozen homeless people living there now and have been over the last 5 years. Building a shelter in the adjacent unused parking lot is only going to make things better. It’s not like they’re building this shelter right in the middle of a neighborhood. This area has been rough for years.

  6. How can I get in to the tiny home in highland park I been homeless I live in highland park my number is 909 258 1015 my name is Jessica

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