By T. A. Hendrickson
An effort in Eagle Rock to create safer, more sanitary conditions for the homeless advanced on November 15, when the Los Angeles City Council told city agencies to study the use of the parking lot at 7541 Figueroa Street as a homeless-services staging area.
Among the potential uses: Installing mobile showers and toilets; allowing overnight parking for people who live in their vehicles; or building bridge housing for people who are transitioning from the streets to permanent housing.
The lot – located across from the Eagle Rock Recreation Center near the on/off ramps to the 134 Freeway – is currently a seldom-used auxiliary parking lot for the rec center.
The idea to use the lot for sanitation or shelter arose in a community meeting on homelessness held in Eagle Rock in May. On July 3, City Councilmember José Huizar, who represents Eagle Rock, introduced a motion asking the city to study the idea. When the motion came up for a vote on November 15, it was approved 10 to 0.
There is no deadline for completing the study, but a spokesperson for Huizar told the Boulevard Sentinel that the council office expected the information by early February, 2020.
Letters of support for the motion were submitted to the City Council by the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, The Eagle Rock Association (TERA), a private improvement group, and the Highland Park Neighborhood Council.
A common theme was the lack of local services for the homeless, even as homelessness worsens. TERA noted that the lot under consideration is little-used, city-owned, near an existing homeless encampment and relatively distant from residential areas.
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