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LA City Councilmembers Curren Price, Kevin de León and Gilbert Cedillo Introduce Motion to Convert Convention Center into Possible Temporary Emergency Homeless Shelter
By Sentinel News Service
Published November 11, 2020

Curren Price (File Photo)

Sheltering our population experiencing homelessness is an urgent priority for the City. The 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, published by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority on July 20, 2020, reported that 41,290 individuals were experiencing homelessness in the City, an increase of 16.1 percent over 2019. Of this group, 28,852 individuals are unsheltered.

The City reached an agreement with the County on June 16, 2020, to develop 6,700 homeless interventions within 18 months. However, there are thousands more individuals who require shelter in the City.

The Los Angeles Convention Center, located at 1201 South Figueroa Street, and managed by the Convention and Tourism Department is a City-owned venue that, under normal circumstances, hosts convention and trade shows, among other events. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement or cancellation of nearly all events at the Convention Center in the immediate future. With no obvious indication of when regular operations will resume, the Convention Center is not being fully utilized as a City asset.

Gilbert Cedillio

In April 2020, the Convention Center was set up as a temporary medical facility to aid hospitals that might exhaust capacity due to an influx of cases of COVID-19. The building was outfitted with 250 beds with the ability to expand operations as necessary. While cases spiked in the City through the summer of 2020, the Convention Center was never utilized for medical patients

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The Convention Center could provide an opportunity to bring vulnerable residents indoors during the winter months. This spacious venue has the potential to shelter a large number of individuals experiencing homelessness, and centrally focus the delivery of services and housing placements.

To support our unsheltered population, the Convention Center should be evaluated for use as a temporary emergency homeless shelter. This analysis should include the number of beds that could be reasonably incorporated into the building, and the potential services, funding requirements, and revenue impacts of such a project.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the Council instruct the City Administrative Officer and the Chief Legislative Analyst, with the assistance of Convention and Tourism Department, General Services Department, Bureau of Engineering, City Attorney, Fire Department, and any other departments as necessary, to evaluate the use of the Los Angeles Convention Center as a temporary emergency homeless shelter and report to Council with a feasibility analysis and recommendations within 30 days, and request the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to assist with this evaluation.

 

PRESENTED BY:                                           

CURREN D. PRICE, JR.

                                         

GILBERT A. CEDILLO

                                         

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KEVIN DE LEÓN

Councilmember, 9th District Councilmember, 1st District Councilmember, 14th District

 

SECONDED BY:                                                                                          

PAUL KREKORIAN                MITCH O’FARRELL

Councilmember, 2nd District      Councilmember, 13th District

DAVID E. RYU                        MARQUEECE HARRIS-DAWSON

Councilmember, 4th District      Councilmember, 8th District

Categories: Local | News | Political
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