eagle rock recreation parking lot

This city owned parking lot on Figueroa Street next to the 134 Freeway could serve as a site for services as well as housing for the homeless.

Eagle Rock -- Public showers? "Safe parking" for those living in cars and campers? Homeless housing?

These are some of the potential uses for a parking lot across the street from the Eagle Rock Recreation Center that would be studied if a proposal wins approval at City Hall.

The lot at 7541 N. Figueroa St. is currently used for auxiliary parking for the park and as a staging area for occasional events and filming. An offramp from the 134 freeway wraps around the lot, which has views of the landmark Eagle Rock to the north.

It's an area where homeless encampments are a common sight next to the freeway and on sidewalks.

14th District Councilman Jose Huizar and the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council say the parking lot would be a good candidate for a variety of services for the area's homeless. It could also be the site of temporary or so called "bridge housing" for the homeless.

"This parking lot may offer an opportunity to address persistent homelessness in the area by providing a location for temporary facilities such as safe parking, a hygiene center, or bridge housing," said a proposal by Huizar that is now under City Council review.

The proposal does not endorse any use. Instead, city staff would first evaluate the city-owned lot for "temporary emergency facilities for people experiencing homelessness" and report back to the council.

In a letter supporting Huizar's proposed study, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council said the neighborhood is lacking when it comes to services and facilities for the homeless.

"Homeless encampments proliferate under freeway bridges, and unhoused individuals and families live in cars and RVs," said the letter. "Housed residents report frustration as homeless individuals' belongings and drug paraphernalia litter city streets, and report being harassed by mentally ill or drug abusing individuals."

The proposal, which was reviewed by the City Council's Homelessness and Poverty Committee on Wednesday, still needs to be approved by the City Council before the study could begin. 

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