Hundreds of people waving and carrying signs marched in Koreatown to protest a homeless shelter scheduled to be placed in their community.
Los Angeles police shut down Vermont Avenue from Wilshire Boulevard to 7th Street in Koreatown for roughly two hours Saturday because of the march, LAPD Sgt. Mathew Meneses said.
The proposed temporary shelter, which would involve converting a city-owned parking structure on the 600 block of South Vermont Street, is one of 15 set to open in various Los Angeles neighborhoods.
It is part of a $1.2 billion plan called A Bridge Home, approved by voters in 2016, to provide temporary shelter to homeless residents and connect them to social services while permanent housing is under construction.
Under state law, the shelters can be built quickly on city-owned land with little community input.
But residents in Koreatown have objected to city officials moving ahead with the plan without holding a hearing or other opportunity for them to comment and ask questions.
“This is incorrect,” protester Linda McShan told CBS2. “To come into a community — to say what you’re going to do without getting any type of consensus.”
Ronald Kim, another marcher, told ABC7 News, “Mayor Garcetti should have had basic decency and respect to hold a public hearing so the community could voice its concerns about this proposed shelter.”
City officials estimate there are at least 400 homeless people living in Koreatown without shelter, and some community activists have spoken in favor of the project to help their neighbors.
Meneses said Saturday’s protest started as scheduled and was peaceful, with no arrests or problems reported.
A public hearing on the shelter proposal is tentatively set for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 22 before the Homelessness and Poverty Committee at City Hall.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: