Receiving letters

Opposes encampment

Editor:

 

I’m writing on behalf of the residents who live and own condos at 738 S. Los Angeles Street 90014, opposite the parking lot at 749 S. Los Angeles Street. We are deeply concerned about the idea to put a homeless encampment in this parking lot.

This parking lot is not large enough to house the hygiene trucks as well as the RV trailers or pallets they intend to install. So, the hygiene trucks will need to be curbside.

This parking lot is surrounded by more than 2,000 homeowners and residents, some of whom are in the over-60 age group, and some of whom have health issues that will put them at risk, with the rate that the COVID virus is erupting through the homeless community. 

There are several restaurants directly adjacent to this lot. There are residential multistory properties alongside, behind and opposite the lot. More than 15 retail clothing stores surround the lot, and some have been in business for decades.

Two large, multimillion-dollar buildings are being restored and made into food halls directly next to and opposite the site. They bring much-needed revenue and taxes into the city. Many stores that are suffering due to the COVID closures in the fashion industry will be severely impaired by having a homeless camp placed directly behind, adjacent or opposite their businesses. Some will have hygiene trucks literally parked in front of their stores. 

This placement decision will force long-standing small businesses to close, as there will no longer be the parking or the foot traffic to keep them going. It will damage the growth of our established community here in the fashion district, ruining years of hard work and effort. 

Why is the encampment being placed in such a highly residential and retail area when there are so many less-populated sites around the city?

Evidently, the LA Allegiance for Human Rights agrees with us that the site is not the right one to use. Only the LA city and mayor’s office are wanting and pushing to use this site. 

We feel extremely hurt that our hard work and efforts to make the comeback of a community in DTLA work are being abused and neglected.

We, as a community that has been growing since 2010, should have been informed so we could have helped the city with the placement of the much-needed encampment. 

There are so many other less-inhabited areas that could be used that are still in the immediate Downtown area. We understand that this encampment is necessary, and we want to support the city in finding a suitable site. 

We have asked for the chance as a community to give ideas and input so we can help the city to find a more useful and agreeable place for the encampment. We feel—as homeowners, tenants and businesses who have, for more than 10 years, been living and working in the fashion district, who have voted and supported the city—we mean nothing to the LA City Council, the city attorney or Mayor Garcetti. 

Their aim should be to protect the community and house the homeless—not house the homeless by neglecting the rights of the community

 

Josephine Borchardt