Will turning Highland Park’s Veterans memorial into a park keep the homeless away?

A chain link fence encircling the Veterans Square Memorial in Highland Park signals the most recent effort to deal with the homeless who congregate at the intersection of Figueroa and York Boulevard under an enormous American flag. Patch reports that the fence will remain up for about 30 days  as the city looks into transferring control of landscaped traffic island to the city’s Recreation and Parks Department, said George Magallanes with Council District 1.  Why? Patch explains:

Currently, the park is considered a public right of way, which gives the city little authority to remove the groups of homeless people who have been sleeping at the square. “Because its a public right of way, it’s very difficult to tell people you can’t be there,” Magallanes said.

Apparently the city has more control over park space. Homeless advocates say Veterans Square has attracted large numbers of street people because of the lack of available services in Northeast L.A.


  1. I cannot tell you how extremely offensive I find this, and how terrible it is that our public tax money is funding it.

    If the homeless there are such a problem, then help them get into housing, help them get into jobs — help them, don’t beat them! Its just wrong to kick people when they’re down. But this is the attitude of our City Council and mayor ever since this crowd got into office, starting with the major effort to throw the homeless on Skid Row in downtown in jail rather than into housing. And Garcetti and LaBonge’s action to run them out of the vacant area of Riverside Drive, away from homes and shops, where they have been since before Garcetti was even born! And rousting them int he woods in the Hollywood Hills, again away from homes and shops. And rousting them at every turn.

    The city seems to have all this money to do this crap, but they can’t find any money to house them, or to get them into jobs?! When you roust them from here, where do you think they will go — maybe to the sidewalk in front of your house. They are welcome in front of my place — but I’m sure the city would not stand for it.

  2. This city treats dogs and cats better than it treats homeless human beings.

  3. Classic example of treating the symptom, not the disease. We can solve the problem of homeless people sleeping in public places (all public spaces, everywhere!) by solving the problem of people being homeless.

  4. Some of these people refuse the help, they are enjoying their worry free lives!

  5. @Frank, it must be very easy for you to criticize this temporary fence installed to place a temporary stop gap to a serious problem that has brought discredit to the brave veterans who gave their lives and who are listed on the memorial plaques the drug-using a drug dealing vagrants are using to dry their clothes and place their alcohol cups atop. But that is not mentioning the serious public health problems associated with their disposal of syringes at the site and their use of the wall as an area to defecate. I would love to see you offer up your front yard to these folks. The community has made attempts to get the truly homeless folks at the Square into housing but they refuse the help. Only a few of the people at the Square in any given day or even homeless. The rest are drug dealers and alcoholics who prefer the site for its location –a short walk from the liquor store. People have a right to wait for the bus or visit the Memorial Square to pay respect to fallen veterans without having to witness public nudity displays, both of which are happening and more. Get the party away from the Square no matter what. If you will invite one to stay in front of your home, tell me where so I can drop them off there myself.

  6. Another - Veteran

    Frank , Have you forgotten that this is a Veterans Memorial ?

    With your line of thinking , its ok for the homeless to set up shop at the Vietnam Memorial in DC or Lincoln Memorial .

    Don’t dismiss the life’s of those who have served their country.

    I am offended by your dismissal of our local Veterans!!

  7. Speaking of travesties, many of the local homeless are veterans too! Sort THAT out.

    Also, seriously, who are we gonna care for? A wall (who IS NOT a person, it represents people)? Or actual living human beings?

  8. I would like to drive by the Memorial and enjoy seeing something I appreciate. I do agree the homeless do make the triangle something to look away at.

    What I have always wondered is why the homeless gather there. It is in a very public place with high visiability. To me, it doesn’t seem like a nature place for the homeless. I have always wondered why they don’t gather in the park of Highland Park right across the street or the parks along the Arroyo Seco.

    It makes me wonder if there is another issue that the general public is not seeing, if it is not safe in those areas and the homeless would prefer to be in public, were they are safe for whatever reason.

    My question is, whats going on in those other areas that we don’t know about?

  9. can we send the hobos to lancaster?

  10. How ironic that the memorial purports to honor veterans, who, it seems make up a disproportionate segment of the homeless population.



  11. I live near this corner and never knew it was a Veteran’s Memorial – take that! The hobo pee stench on that corner is too much. I have vet’s in my family so if this was the intention it should be treated with respect. I don’t understand why it’s OK to have this homeless population on the corner. It’s also a bus stop and dangerous for kids and mom’s waiting there to be subjected to the situation. Why is it okay for Highland Park to look like a dump?

  12. Desert Storm Vet

    Some of these homeless guys ARE vets and should be treated as such. The fence is a bigger blight than the homeless folks. The fence doesn’t solve the problem, it only moves it to someone elses slab of concrete. Solve the problem, don’t just hide it. I’m reading a lot of NIMBY BS here, show some compassion people. Homeless people are entitled to some dignity and respect.

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