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Morning Briefing: Housing For LA’s Families

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A small homeless encampment near City Hall in downtown Los Angeles, March 24. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
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Good morning, L.A.

As the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, unhoused and housing-insecure Angelenos are facing ongoing risk of contracting the virus. In March, a group of families occupied 13 vacant homes in El Sereno in an effort to stay safe – and now, they’re moving in for good.

LAist contributor Zoie Matthew reports that the group met repeatedly with city and state officials to work out a deal, and that all 13 families who originally occupied the homes will be able to stay. The houses are owned by CalTrans, purchased as part of a long-abandoned effort to expand the 710 Freeway.

Speaking to reporters recently, Marta Escudero, who is moving into one of the El Sereno properties with her two daughters, reminded those in attendance that having a safe place to live – especially during COVID-19 – is part of keeping the community healthy.

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"I want to emphasize that housing is a health issue, and we are having a health crisis right now in this pandemic," Escudero said. "We need to act faster to occupy all of these vacant homes.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, November 16

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A man who was shot by Sheriff’s Deputies inside Harbor UCLA Medical Center last month has died, reports Josie Huang. He has been identified by family members as Nicholas Burgos. He was reportedly having a psychiatric crisis and using a metal medical device to break windows and equipment.

A new facility dedicated to homeless services will open in Huntington Beach this month. The center will provide emergency shelter for 174 adult men and women, reports Julia Paskin. Plus, the city of Long Beach will offer $500 monthly stipends to 150 artists who are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Watch a Linda Ronstadt tribute concert, find out why it's so easy to get away with murder, celebrate Italian cuisine virtually, and more. Christine N. Ziemba has this week’s best online and IRL events.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Tommy Lasorda In ICU: Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, 93, is in intensive care in an Orange County hospital. The team didn’t reveal the reason for his hospitalization, only saying that he is resting comfortably.

Commemorating Saugus High: One year ago, a student opened fire at Saugus High School, killing two of his classmates and injuring three other people before turning the gun on himself. Victims, survivors and families came together for a virtual memorial Saturday night.


Photo of the Day

Performers at L.A. Dance Project’s “Drive-In Dances — The Betweens” on Nov. 14.

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(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

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