Southern California breaking news and trends

Homeless kids get a snow day in DTLA: Christmas in July

Christmas in July

Nick Ut/AP

July 11, 2012: Christmas in July at Union Rescue Mission in DTLA.

Photo of the day -- More than 20 tons of snow was brought to the Union Rescue Mission in Downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday July 11, 2012 for a Christmas in July event sponsored by Subway. The kids had lunch and visited with Santa. 

Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of URM, documented the day's non-Slurpee related iced shenanigans via Twitter.


Skid Row parks remain open thanks to housing funds

Michael Katz

Two parks in the Skid Row area will remain open for another six months as the Los Angeles City Council moves around money to make up for the loss of redevelopment funds.

Two parks in the Skid Row area will remain open for now thanks to housing services funds that will temporarily make up for the loss of redevelopment money. 

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously agreed to transfer $175,000 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to keep the San Julian and Gladys parks open for another six months.

The parks, located at Fifth and San Julian streets and Sixth Street and Gladys Avenue, were previously funded with money from the Community Redevelopment Agency. When that folded, money from a Community Development Block Grant supported the parks.

It is unclear how the parks will be funded once that money runs out. A spokesman for Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district will include Skid Row thank to redistricting, was not immediately available to comment.  


Rats, needles and other piles of Skid Row health violations

skid row

Photo by NoHoDamon via Flickr Creative Commons

L.A. County public health officials have found a variety of health code violations on the streets of Skid Row.

Hazardous and unhygienic conditions, including the presence of hypodermic needles, rats' nests and piles of human excrement were detailed in a May 21 report to the city attorney's office.

In April, the health department began an extensive inspection of the 10-block area of downtown Los Angeles -- the country's densest population of homeless individuals -- at the request of the city attorney's office.

Following last year's ruling prohibiting the confiscation and destruction of property from Skid Row's homeless, crime and health concerns in the area have been on the rise. 

"We're regressing," Central Division Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Horace Frank told Blogdowntown in February. "The environment allows it."