Experiment could become a model for how LA deals with its homeless problem

The proposal is the latest effort to combat a growing problem

The lot at 1953 Arcadia St, Los Angeles (Credit: Google Maps)
The lot at 1953 Arcadia St, Los Angeles (Credit: Google Maps)

The latest effort to address Los Angeles’ fast growing homeless population will involve housing dozens of people in trailer homes on a city-owned downtown site. The mayoral task force proposal will go before the City Council on Tuesday.

The plan would see five trailers, housing up to 67 people, installed on a parking lot at Arcadia and Alameda streets by the beginning of summer, according to the Los Angeles Times. Planners hope to serve homeless individuals who camp out around the nearby El Pueblo Historical Monument, and envision the trailers as a transition to permanent housing.

Downtown Councilmember Jose Huizar is expected to introduce the proposal to the Council. It will cost $2.3 million in its first year and $1.3 million each year after that.

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A recent report found the homeless population in Los Angeles had grown to 34,000, with an estimated three quarters living unsheltered.

The city has attempted to comb homelessness with the construction of permanent housing using $1.2 billion in voter-approved bonds, according to the Times.

The proposed trailer park site is about a mile north of a planned $138 million development to house the chronically homeless. Weingart Center, a homeless services organization, is leading that project, which is expected to open in 2021. Huizar and SRO Housing Trust are supporting that planned construction. Around a third of the city’ permanent supportive housing units are located in Downtown, housing 2,600 people. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch