LOS ANGELES – Long before Echo Park Lake’s homeless encampment became a public safety issue, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell was identifying and creating potential housing solutions for Council District 13.
“Homelessness is the issue of the day. We didn’t get this way overnight, and we’re not going to solve these problems overnight,” he told FOX 11 during a tour of ten current and proposed housing sites in the Rampart Village and Echo Park area.
Richard Espinoza spent years living on Skid Row but turned his life around at Project Homekey’s “The Nest” on Commonwealth Avenue. The 61-year-old now has a private room and bathroom, and received enough support and encouragement to start a new career.
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“I wasn’t going to get this job if I didn’t have a bed,” Espinoza said. “What’s the sense of having a good job without a bed?”
The site was purchased by the city and opened in March of 2021. It features 41 beds – each in a private room with access to communal space and individual fridges and storage space.
There is on-site case management and cleaning services available, and it is managed by Volunteers of America Los Angeles.