DOWNEY (CBSLA) — South Gate residents were protesting in Downey on Saturday over plans for a veterans housing project on Los Angeles County property.
“Let it affect their own city rather than our city,” said South Gate resident Maria Hernandez.
There are no Downey neighborhoods close by, but a South Gate neighborhood is across the street.
“I’m concerned for my children. I’m concerned for my home. My safety,” said South Gate resident Maria Salazar.
Protesters view this project as a second homeless housing project.
The project is too close, they say, to their neighborhood.
“The other homeless project a half a mile away is going to be 60 units,” said South Gate resident Alicia Flores.
“We are going to have an overflow of homelessness around here,” said Hernandez.
“I think South Gate has got a little uptight about this idea of a homeless shelter. It’s not a homeless shelter,” said Downey Mayor Pro Tem Rick Rodriguez. “I think they don’t know what they don’t know.”
Rodriguez said there are 11,000 homeless vets in L.A. County and some will be among those housed there when the project is completed in 2020.
“Not only for homeless veterans but for veterans leaving the military service. Honorable. Ready to serve in our civilian community,” said Rodriguez.
In the proposed facility, he said veterans will get the services they might need — from therapy to job training.
There are two views.
South Gaters don’t want what they see as a homeless shelter on their border while Rodriguez sees it as a vital resource for veterans who need some help.
Will we be seeing more of these projects across county?
“I hope this is a template that all of America can use,” said Rodriguez.
(This post has been updated.)