L.A. Considering Former Children’s Museum, Factory Sites for Downtown Homeless Shelters

Alvaron Morrow, 57, rests outside the former Los Angeles Children's Museum downtown in this undated photo. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Alvaron Morrow, 57, rests outside the former Los Angeles Children's Museum downtown in this undated photo. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles took a step Tuesday toward converting a vacant children’s museum and a textile factory into crisis shelters to take homeless people off the streets of skid row and other parts of downtown.

The sites are outside skid row’s 50-year-old homelessness “containment” zone. But the council vote Tuesday to evaluate the locations could be the beginning of transforming skid row, the most concentrated homeless enclave in the country, and lifting a longtime barrier to the march of downtown development.

“Skid row is the result of years of neglect and legal decisions,” said City Councilman Jose Huizar. “We have to be creative.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti has called for a new homeless shelter in every council district by the end of the year to accommodate 23,000 residents who live outdoors, one of the largest populations in any city in the country. Officials are considering more than two dozen potential sites for new shelters citywide.

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