L.A. Recreation and Parks General Manager Mike Shull provided an update about the city’s use of recreation centers to house the homeless during the Covid-19 crisis. He spoke during a public-accessible Virtual meeting held by the Rec and Park Board of Commissioners on May 21.
Shull said that two shelters, Green Meadows (South L.A.) and Normandale (Torrance), have been deactivated, leaving 22 recreation centers currently in operation.
“There are 656 residents, and there are 227 available beds,” Shull said.
In addition, 304 trailers were made available for the homeless at seven sites. Currently about 221 residents are housed and 77 trailers are available.
At least one homeless person from Pacific Palisades qualified for a trailer, but when he was required to sign a paper that said he would not leave the trailer before 8 a.m. and had to be in by 8 p.m., he elected not to take that housing.
Shull said that Rec and Parks is the “sheltering arm” for the City through its constitution, so it made sense that his department was asked to house people.
He noted that municipal golf courses and tennis facilities, plus all hiking trails, had been reopened.
Commissioner and Palisades resident Joe Halper asked if the tennis centers were open at the recreation centers that are housing the homeless.
“There are some exceptions,” Shull said, explaining that the courts at Westwood are still closed because of their proximity to the trailers, but that the courts at Cheviot Hills are open. “It’s kind of site dependent.”