Residents Paid $800 a Month to Live Without Water, Electricity in Abandoned South L.A. Church

An old church building at 805 W. 57th St. was illegally converted into residential space. LAPD officers ordered residents to evacuate in 2018.(Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

An old church building at 805 W. 57th St. was illegally converted into residential space. LAPD officers ordered residents to evacuate in 2018.(Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The illegally converted church in South Los Angeles had no gas, water or electricity when Amelda Glaspie moved in.

A city notice is posted on the illegally converted church building in the 800 block of West 57th Street.(Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A city notice is posted on the illegally converted church building in the 800 block of West 57th Street.(Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

She and about 40 other tenants shared two kitchens, where roaches crawled among the dirty dishes and rotten food left in half a dozen refrigerators. Every day, Glaspie said, residents carted water from a nearby building in buckets to flush the toilets.

Paying $800 a month, she and her husband lived in a cramped bedroom until late June 2018, when LAPD officers ordered everyone to evacuate. A criminal complaint filed by the city in December said the garbage at 805 W. 57th St. was a breeding ground for rodents, bedbugs, fleas, lice, mosquitoes and other vermin.

Despite the conditions, some residents didn’t want to leave. Glaspie said they felt they had nowhere to go.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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