Homeless families in Los Angeles have seized more than a dozen empty houses in the city due to the pandemic coronavirus. This writes Fox News.
While city officials are working to bring homeless people to safe places, including in hotels, homeless say that’s not enough.
“In connection with this crisis in health and housing crisis we need every available house was home to those who have no safe and stable place to sleep,” said ruby Gordillo who moved into one of the abandoned houses with their three children.
The house is one of many purchased by the California Department of transportation (Caltrans) a few years ago in a failed attempt to expand highway 710.
While Caltrans has sold some houses, many of them remain empty.
Mar Escudero, who moved to one of the empty houses, said local officials are “unfair”.
She said that Caltrans has not yet tried to evict any of the families.
When homeless people were approaching the houses, the protesters made a human chain.
Family Gordillo and Escudero took one home, but soon the family Gordillo and Benito Flores, the man who moved in with them, moved into the house across the street because of concerns about social distancing.
“Now they have their homes,” said Gordillo.
The group occupying the house, calls himself Reclaiming Our Homes and is part of the Alliance of Californians for empowering communities, helping to protect tenants.
The mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti said he knew of families who occupy the homes, but said authorities were focused on the movement of people in hotels and motels.
“We have a lot of free housing, he said. And empty homes is not enough to get to the number, which I think we need.”
The city also plans to convert at least 42 of recreation facilities in temporary shelters.
Governor of California Gavin Newsom announced the allocation of $150 million to help the homeless throughout the state during the crisis.