Woman Suing Los Angeles: Eric Garcetti Increasing Coronavirus Risk by Sheltering Homeless in Rec Centers

Homelessness, California Richard VogelAssociated Press
Richard VogelAssociated Press

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s sheltering of homeless persons in municipal suburban recreation centers increases the risk of coronavirus’ spread among Los Angelenos, said Susie Gilman, who filed a lawsuit to stop the city’s relocation of its destitute population.

“[The city] started converting rec centers in suburban neighborhoods and throughout the city and got [homeless] people indoors right away, which seemed like a good idea,” said Gilman on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak. “We all started receiving mandates about how we needed to social distance [and] self-isolate, and my neighbors and I started to wonder how that can be possible … if they’re going to put everybody in one big room together. Isn’t that dangerous? Won’t that affect them? Won’t that be the wrong thing to do?”

Pollak recalled a recent report from the LA Times regarding 70 confirmed coronavirus infections at a homeless shelter in Los Angeles.

“We know that the virus travels better indoors than it does outdoors,” Pollak stated, “And then there’s the issue of bringing [infected] people into residential communities that may have been relatively unaffected until now. … This is something the CDC specifically addresses. They say we don’t advocate that cities clear these homeless encampments, because you could assist with community spread.”


Homeless populations are unlikely to follow CDC guidelines for minimizing the coronavirus’ spread, determined Gilman.

“They are probably not going to wear masks,” Gilman stated. “They’re going to go in and out at free will, which [will likely] be infecting the neighborhood — as well as each other — when they go back into the shelters.”

“Tent areas” and other temporary encampments had been set up around recreational centers filled beyond capacity with homeless persons, explained Gilman.

“They’ve set up tent areas in all the surrounding areas,” Gilman shared, “Along the sidewalks, if it’s a rec center that has a baseball field, they’re all over the fields — in the dugouts and on the bleachers. It’s like a mini tent city, a sort of a Skid Row.”

City authorities are not reporting numbers of coronavirus infections among homeless persons sheltered in municipal recreation centers, Gilman warned.

“It’s not doing anything to flatten the curve,” said Gilman of Garcetti’s plan, warning of national impacts if Los Angeles fails to slow the growth of coronavirus infections. “We’re the second largest city in America, and we’re as if we don’t flatten the curve, I don’t know what’s going to happen to America. It’s anything but a local issue.”

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