Koreatown Residents Protest Planned Emergency Homeless Shelter

Koreatown Residents Protest Planned Emergency Homeless Shelter

KOREATOWN (CBSLA)  — Hundreds of people shut down Vermont Avenue between Wilshire Boulevard and 6th Street for about two hours Saturday.


The protesters were out in force to demonstrate against a planned emergency homeless shelter in LA’s Koreatown.


Protesters like Linda McShan are upset City Hall didn’t offer public comment of the site selection.


“This is incorrect. To come into a community – to say what you’re going to do without getting any type of consensus,” said McShan.


The idea is to convert a city owned parking structure into a temporary shelter.


It comes after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced at least 15 temporary shelters will go up around the city.


Thanks to a new state law the proposed shelters can be constructed with little community input.


Demonstrators say the Koreatown location sits within a one-mile radius of eight schools.


“The primary concern is health and safety,” said Ronald Kim of No Shelter At 682 Vermont.


For the third weekend in a row, counter demonstrators also shared their message. Although this group was much smaller.


“We should set an example that we care for our neighbors and we are compassionate,” said Jane Nguyen, a counter protester.


he counter demonstrators say the planned shelter would actually help clear the sidewalks and make the neighborhood safer for school kids.


“All the way from the location to the school, is a bunch of encampments. So if you’re worried about that – this is meant to address it,” says Johnny Lee.


On a YouTube message with Korean subtitles, City Council President Herb Wesson says there are 400 homeless people in this part of his district.


He says the shelter will provide counseling and dispense medication.


“On this site, we are going to be able to provide 24-hour service,” Wesson says on the video.


Demonstrators say they want City Hall to hold public comment on the site selection process.


They say if that doesn’t happen, they may take this matter to court.