Home > Uncategorized > BREAKING NEWS:…Skid Row parks to close Jan. 31st due to lack of funding

BREAKING NEWS:…Skid Row parks to close Jan. 31st due to lack of funding

January 16, 2013
To Skid Row,
Welcome to Skid Row
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES- It was officially announced today by SRO Housing Corp. that both Skid Row parks will be forced to close at the end of this month, January 31st due to a lack of funding.
Last year when funding ran out, City Councilmember Jan Perry came up with the funding to keep both San Julian Park and Gladys Park open until December 31st, 2012. SRO Housing Corp. extended the deadline an additional 30 days, but no new funding has been secured.
Last week, City Councilmember Jose Huizar’s staff met with Skid Row community leaders to discuss the formation of the Skid Row Public Space Task Force which intends to work to address community issues such as trash clean-up’s and the lack of trash cans, the lack of public toilets, problems related to homeless feedings and more. The first meeting is tentatively scheduled sometime in February, but it is not clear if Huizar’s office can act soon enough before the fast closing deadline which is about two weeks away with action that will keep said parks open.
SRO Housing used to rely heavily on the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) for funding, but when new Governor Jerry Brown took office last year, he abruptly closed down the CRA and all of their funding went back to the State of California. It was confirmed at last week’s SRPSTF meeting by Councilmember Huizar’s staff that both parks now belong to the City of Los Angeles (since they are both within the City of Los Angeles’ boundaries).
Last month, Skid Row community activist General Jeff spoke about this pending issue before the Department of Recreation and Park’s Board of Commissioners at their monthly meeting. Chair Barry Sanders verbally confirmed that “Gladys Park will not close” (at that time, only Gladys Park was under the control of Rec and Parks). It is unclear if Rec and Parks is now responsible for San Julian Park as well.
The most important pending issue, however, is how the closing of Skid Row’s only public areas will affect how LAPD patrols and enforces the area. Last month, Skid Row community activist General Jeff shared the Skid Row community’s park concerns to LAPD at Central Division’s monthly C-PAB (Community Police Advisory Board) meeting. LAPD Captain Horace Frank verbally replied by saying “We cannot have the Skid Row parks close”. Captain Frank stated that the Department (LAPD) will begin to look into the matter. It is not yet clear as to what LAPD’s conclusions are or if there will be any significant change in their police tactics.
If the parks do indeed close, Skid Row residents and homeless will be forced to sit on sidewalks and curbs, using portable chairs and milk crates, which LAPD started to enforce against years ago, or the community will have to altogether migrate to other Downtown areas such as Pershing Square, LA Live or the Arts District.
Other Skid Row community leaders have already started to explore the possibilities of filing a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles for lack of providing public space near where local residents reside.
This story is just beginning……Stay tuned!!!!
Regards,
General Jeff
Skid Row community activist-
ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS (2007-present)
(3-Term) Resident Director- Central City East/ Skid Row
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (2008-Present)
Former VP, Outreach and Communications (2011-2012)
Co-Chair- Skid Row Community Advisory Board for the
Department of Mental Health (2012-2013)
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