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L.A. City Council President Rallies for Temporary Homeless Shelters After Backlash in Koreatown

Faced with an uproar in his district over a temporary homeless shelter, City Council president Herb Wesson convened a rally Friday at which he urged Angelenos across the city to support “bridge” housing for those living on the streets.

At a rally convened by L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, homeless advocate Mel Tillekeratne speaks in support of temporary housing for the homeless in Los Angeles on May 18, 2018. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

At a rally convened by L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, homeless advocate Mel Tillekeratne speaks in support of temporary housing for the homeless in Los Angeles on May 18, 2018. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

To a crowd of a couple hundred homeless advocates, service providers, labor groups and activists assembled on the City Hall lawn, Wesson called homelessness “the most important issue in the city of Los Angeles.” He called the temporary shelters, to be built in each of the 15 council districts, a “bold and creative” solution.

The announcement earlier this month that the first of the shelters will be built in a central corridor of Koreatown has been met with a groundswell of opposition, with residents and business owners staging their own rallies to protest that that site was chosen without input from the community. More than 9,000 people have signed an online petition protesting the site, which opponents contend is not optimal because of its proximity to schools and businesses.

Wesson, accompanied by Mayor Eric Garcetti and five members of the City Council, said at Friday’s rally that “it takes power, it takes leadership” to get the temporary housing built.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.