LOS ANGELES (CNS) — As a $500,000 repair and restoration project at Echo Lake Park was set to resume this morning, a candlelight vigil and march were held around the park, days after more than 200 homeless people were removed.
A sign at the fenced-off park targeted Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and read “This park is the people’s! NOT Mitch’s!”
Another sign read “Resign Mitch.”
Marchers placed candles outside O’Farrell’s district office in the 1700 block of Sunset Boulevard, near Lemoyne Street.
Advocates for the homeless have criticized O’Farrell and the city’s efforts to remove the park’s homeless encampment, saying it had grown into a safe haven for people with no other options. They also questioned what would happen to the homeless once their stays at the temporary hotel rooms ended.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority told City News Service on March 26 that 138 park residents were placed in Project Roomkey hotel rooms, 35 in Project Homekey sites and 11 in A Bridge Home shelters.
Many residents have complained about the trash and public safety issues in the park, saying they no longer felt safe visiting it.