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.