L.A.’s rush to open homeless shelters prompts concern over coronavirus spread

Coronavirus
Tyrone Dixon, right, arrives with other people who are homeless at the Echo Park Community Center, one of several recreation centers being converted to shelters, on March 20, 2020. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Tyrone Dixon, right, arrives with other people who are homeless at the Echo Park Community Center, one of several recreation centers being converted to shelters, on March 20, 2020. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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Tyrone Dixon was told to be standing out front of The Midnight Mission at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Then, accompanied by two Los Angeles police officers, he and three other homeless people boarded a bus and were whisked out of skid row.

Several minutes later, Dixon, 53, who had his temperature taken by the officers on the bus, arrived at the Echo Park Community Center, hopeful about his prospects for a cot and hot shower.

“I’m tired of staying on these streets,” he said. “I try to stay in shelters. They have case workers. If you stay in a tent … you’re stuck.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan for transforming 42 recreation centers into homeless shelters got its start on Friday, with city crews bringing in supplies, spacing cots and laying tarp on gymnasium floors. The initiative is part of a larger strategy to blunt the spread of the novel coronavirus among the city’s most vulnerable residents.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

A map shows the locations where eight temporary shelters for homeless people were expected to open on March 20, 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. (Ben Poston/Los Angeles Times)
A map shows the locations where eight temporary shelters for homeless people were expected to open on March 20, 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. (Ben Poston/Los Angeles Times)

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