L.A. City Council President, Koreatown Community Agree on Site for Homeless Shelter That Sparked Protests
After more than a month of behind-the-scenes talks, L.A. Council President Herb Wesson and Korean community representatives have agreed on a site on the outskirts of Koreatown to temporarily shelter homeless residents, city officials said Friday.
The uproar over placing a shelter in Koreatown — which was announced in early May as the first piece of a citywide initiative — has been watched closely as each council district moves forward on selecting a site for “bridge housing.”
The initial proposal for Koreatown, on a busy corridor near Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, was met with protests from many area residents and business owners, who pilloried the plan as having been lobbed on the community without sufficient outreach. Korean Americans marched on Wilshire and crowded City Hall chambers, demanding Wesson hold public hearings before settling on a site. Some even demanded the councilman be recalled.
On Thursday, Wesson and members of the Korean American community reached an agreement to pursue locating the temporary shelter half a mile east of the original site, on the tennis courts at Lafayette Park. Wesson spokesman Vanessa Rodriguez said the council president made a commitment not to put temporary homeless housing on the Vermont Avenue site, currently a city-owned parking lot, “as a direct result of feedback from community.”
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