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LOS ANGELES : Grant Will Fund Homeless Center East of Downtown

November 17, 1994

Mayor Richard Riordan's plan to create a "drop-in center" for homeless people east of Downtown cleared another hurdle, as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors accepted a government grant that would help fund the encampment.

With no discussion, the Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed Tuesday to accept a $20-million federal Housing and Urban Development grant to county and city agencies. One of the programs the grant is to fund is the homeless park.

The plan has outraged some homeless advocates, who referred to the project as an "internment camp."

The space, to be in a vacant lot, would include a 50-bed shelter, showers, restrooms, lockers and a service center where homeless people could receive drug and job counseling.

The mayor's office said it planned to spend $4 million of the HUD grant on the project.

Homeless advocate Alice Callaghan, a strong critic of the proposed drop-in center, said she did not attend the supervisor's meeting Tuesday because she figured the homeless plan was a "done deal."

"The supervisors clearly have abandoned any compassion for the poor in the city," said Callaghan, director of Las Familias del Pueblo, a Skid Row social service center. "I imagine a campground sounds like a nifty idea to them."

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