Former La Opinión Printing Center May Become A Storage Space For The Homeless
Obviously, there are no quick fixes for the homeless situation in Los Angeles. According to a report released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority in May, the agency had counted 46,874 homeless individuals across the county. The problem has become so entrenched that it'll require a big investment (possibly to the tune of $2 billion), as well as a multi-tiered approach, for there to be any real results.
Working with this mindset, the LAHSA is recommending that the former La Opinión building at 224 E. Washington Boulevard be converted into a storage space for the homeless, reports Urbanize LA. The building used to be a printing facility for the Spanish-language newspaper. The plan has the backing of 9th District Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr., who filed a motion back in August to have the building evaluated as a possible homeless storage facility. According to initial plans, the space may include 500 storage bins as well as shower facilities. The motion also stipulates that this storage facility will be "temporary," as Price says that the space may eventually be turned into affordable housing.
Price noted that the idea isn't just to build a storage space; the facility could go a long way in helping the homeless seek out the assistance they need. "The lack of voluntary storage for the City's homeless residents creates significant barriers for individuals who are seeking access to social services and housing," said the motion.
Some of these storage facilities are already in operation around the city. There's The Bin on Skid Row, which was reported on by KCRW. There, a homeless individual is assigned a 60-gallon recycling bin to store their belongings. There are caveats, of course—drugs and firearms are not allowed, and the bins can't be filled above the brim. Church groups, like The Crossing Church out in Costa Mesa, also offer similar storage services for the homeless.
As noted by Curbed LA, there have been efforts to erect similar storage facilities in cities like Venice. But the NIMBYs out there are putting up a resistance, saying that sites will attract criminal activity. It remains to be seen if the proposed La Opinión location will be met with similar levels of objection. It is perhaps unlikely, as the immediate area around the building is largely comprised of industrial buildings.
LAist has contacted Councilman Price’s office but have yet to hear back.