LOS ANGELES – The lakeside portion of MacArthur Park has closed for “much needed deferred maintenance,” closing that area of the park to unhoused Angelenos who made it their home during the pandemic.
The park appeared to be empty of people and tents after 10:30 p.m. as fences were put up in anticipation of the rehabilitation project.
The park area between Alvarado and Park View streets and Wilshire Boulevard and Seventh Street will close for 10 weeks. City Councilman Gil Cedillo’s office said it began offering accommodation options to people living in the park from January and that as of Wednesday 257 people were internally displaced.
Teams from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and People Assist The Homeless managed the outreach operation, and park residents were offered Project Roomkey placements in downtown hotels and motels, according to Jose Rodriguez. , deputy director of the Cedillo district.
People living in the park would not be prevented from moving to the north side of the park, across Wilshire Boulevard, during the south side closure, and the city will continue to raise awareness and collect garbage from these residents without housing, said Rodriguez.
Kevin Dunigan, who lives near the park, seemed worried that this was only a temporary solution to the city’s homelessness crisis.
“I see what LA is trying to do – they are trying to clean up the city,” Dunigan told CBS2. “I hope LA will do something for them and not just say ‘Get them out of here and don’t come back. “‘
Cedillo’s office said the goal of the rehabilitation project is to make the park safe and clean for residents of the dense neighborhood, many of whom have no other outdoor space. Maintenance of the park has been postponed for more than 19 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to provide a safe, clean and secure park for everyone who comes to MacArthur Park to play, relax and enjoy this precious open space that is in the heart of our low-income neighborhood of Westlake,” said Cedillo .
During the closure, the Department of Recreation and Parks will perform electrical repairs, lighting repairs and upgrades, landscape reseeding, painting, irrigation repairs and upgrades, signage replacement and repair and replacement of park furniture.