For homeless Angelenos, the pandemic has exacerbated existing problems and created new ones. Crowded shelters, little access to drinking water and the formwork of once safe interior spaces mean they face an exorbitant risk of exposure to the coronavirus and few places to rest or recover from daily challenges.
So when a new facility that would have provided housing for homeless veterans burnt to the ground in september, it was a loss that hit the community hard.
“Four years of work was burned in a matter of hours,” said Manuel Bernal, president of the non-profit affordable housing developer East LA Community Corporation.
My colleague Robert Garrova reports that the facility, located at the intersection of 1st Street and Rowan Avenue in East LA and named Nuevo Amanecer, allegedly provided 30 units for veterans and low-rental housing for other members of the community. Residents were due to start moving in at the end of the year.
It is a loss that highlights the desperate need for rooms for homeless people, and especially for veterans.
“I know veterans who have died on the streets,” said John Williams, a former homeless sailor. “They never made it. “
Read on to find out more about what’s happening in Los Angeles today, and stay safe there.
– Jessica P. Ogilvie
What you need to know today
Coronavirus Updates: LA County has, once again, smashed its own daily COVID-19 records, reporting still 12,819 new cases yesterday. The count also reported the first death of a child from MIS-C, a rare disease linked to COVID-19.
Protesters against LAPD: In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office said the mayor “ hope[s] that the situation will worsen because the safety of protesters and police is of the utmost importance, “in response to what some have called excessive use of force during a demonstration outside Garcetti’s home.
Money matters: LA County is suspension of parking tickets – but the city of LA is not. Some economists predict better days to come, once the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed.
The Roaring Twenties, which also marked a time of significant social change, followed another devastating pandemic: the 1918 flu.
American racism: Our panel of experts takes a closer look racism in the military justice systemand the measures taken to address it.
Census 2020: The congressional district that spans much of central Los Angeles gained unwanted recognition: it had the lowest self-response in the 2020 census throughout the state.
Here’s what to do: Watch a magic show for the whole family, spend the holidays with Cyndi Lauper, celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and more This week’s top online and IRL events.
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