Memorial or Recent Homeless Deaths Turns Into March On Los Angeles City Hall

Life in the Shadow of Money - Everystockphoto: Photographer Ilpo's Sojourn
Life in the Shadow of Money - Photographer Ilpo's Sojourn

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A memorial for homeless people who recently died on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles turned into a rally today to urge the city to create more housing for individuals living on the streets.
  
The memorial started at San Julian Park, an outdoor refuge for hundreds of homeless people downtown, and was hosted by the Los Angeles Community Action Network and the organization Services Not Sweeps, which advocate for homeless individuals’ rights.
  
We’re out here today with our partners across the city of Los Angeles saying `no’ to three deaths per day,” LACAN spokesperson Pete White said. “We’re saying the city has other options. Instead of aggressive policing, put that money into housing.”
  
Other memorials were planned for the Boardwalk in Venice Beach and at 3 p.m., a march is planned at Sunset and Wilshire places in Koreatown, and at 5 p.m., another is planned at Echo Lake Park.
  
White said the advocates decided to march downtown to draw attention to the seriousness of Los Angeles’ homeless crisis, and he said the city needs to explore cheaper options to housing people. He said his organization wants to pressure the City Council to open property the city owns for public housing.
  
“We’re saying we want to make houselessness [sic] a priority,” White said.
  
The City Council voted earlier this month to allow only affordable units to be built on city-owned land slated for housing.
  
The march included about 100 people and delayed traffic at times as it moved through downtown toward City Hall. Los Angeles Police Department officials said no one was arrested or cited for marching.
  
The march concluded near the flower box, where a homeless man was found dead Wednesday in front of City Hall East.
  
Los Angeles County is expected to reach more than 1,000 deaths of homeless people this year, which equates to more than three deaths per day.
  
An autopsy and positive identification of the man are still pending, according to the coroner’s office.
 
Dec. 21 is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.