Mayor helps turn former Echo Park hospital into homeless refuge

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans to tour the Dream Center today, the former Queen of Angels Hospital on the border of Echo Park and Silver Lake that has been transformed into housing and shelter for more than 1,200 people, many of them former homeless residents.  The 15-story building visible from the 101 Freeway has been undergoing a floor-by-floor $20 million renovation under the leadership Dream Center pastor Matthew Barnett, whose congregation is based at Angelus Temple near Echo Park Lake.  But apparently the Dream Center ran into permit problems and the Mayor’s office is taking credit for clearing that up, according to a press release:

In 2009, the Dream Center could not obtain permits for a renovation project due to actions of the previous owners.  Mayor Villaraigosa intervened, cut the red tape, and the permits were granted within a few weeks.  The renovation will be completed by the end of 2012, and the new space will include shelter facilities that will allow the Dream Center to bring over 300 more people off the streets.

Dream Center residents had been crowded in “triple bunked” position before the renovations began at the building   located  at Bellevue Avenue and Waterloo Street.


  1. I’m completely sympathetic to needs of LA’s homeless, but did Villaraigosa bother to ask any of the residents of Echo Park if we want such a huge influx of homeless people in our neighborhood? NO?
    How about we move the Dream Center next to Villaraigosa’s house, that’ll be cool with him, right?

  2. Does anyone know how this place runs? Do the residents there do anything?

  3. I thought this place was already a rehab. I see the “dream center disciples” roaming the neighborhood pushing empty wheelbarrows around (I assume) to pick up trash.

    I’ve also seen young people presumably from other parts of the country stay there for a two week vacation bible school (which usually aint free).

    I wounder if the homeless share the same floor with the lily white Georgia Peach 14 year old girl bible thumper?


  4. Ya’ mean all I have to do is become such a derelict that i cant even support myself enough to put a roof over my head to get this view?

    Wow! I’ve been going about it all wrong.

    THANKS TONY VILLAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I so appreciate what The Dream Center is doing to help clean up Echo Park and LA. They have programs to help people for free. How awesome is that?!! If you need help, that’s the place to go!

  6. Brilliant idea.

  7. The Dream Center’s programs are intended to convert folks to their religion, and their educational programs for “at risk” youth are backward-thinking and homophobic. I think Mayor Tony should have dug a little deeper into this Mega Church-affiliated non-profit before lending them a hand.

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