LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Homeless people are asking Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell to find a way to let them stay at Echo Park Lake overnight as long as they promise to keep the park clean and not be a nuisance to visitors.
Homeless people and advocacy groups confronted park rangers and crews during a cleanup today at Echo Park Lake in an area where people without permanent shelter have taken up residency, videos on social media showed.
"But what we need and what we desire is to create a solution within this city council district, our home."
On Tuesday, O'Farrell, who represents the council district where the park is located, introduced a motion that would dedicate more than $560,000 to fund six months of "emergency measures" regarding hygiene needs of the homeless at Echo Park Lake.
The Recreation and Parks Department is the lead on cleanups, but officials could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the activity at Echo Park Lake.
"The immediate needs of unhoused Angelenos are felt acutely citywide, and recently this is particularly true for Echo Park Lake," O'Farrell said in his motion. "While services and resources are in various stages of production, we need to address those needs most critical/or basic quality of life for both the unhoused and the individuals and families who use the park as a daily resource for exercise, recreation and relaxation."
The letter was sent to O'Farrell on Thursday prior to the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count took place at the park later that night.
The count has been taking place this week across the county to tally the number of homeless, which is essential to understanding how large the homeless crisis has become, and is required to be conducted by Continuum of Care providers to receive federal funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, O'Farrell's Council District 13, which includes Echo Park, portions of Hollywood and Silver Lake, had more than 2,400 unsheltered homeless people in 2019.