Sherman Oaks residents voice concern over homeless housing proposal

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Sherman Oaks residents voiced their concerns on Thursday over plans to put two homeless shelters near their homes at a neighborhood council meeting.

Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu was met with boos as he spoke about his homeless housing plan at the meeting.

Rick Marcelli and his wife say the informational meeting was a disaster.

"I think it was very close to what I would describe as a riot," Marcelli said. "The whole thing had to be a complete embarrassment for Ryu."

Ryu is proposing permanent supportive housing and emergency temporary housing at two locations in Sherman Oaks.

He said as a result of voters passing Prop. H and Prop. HHH, the funding needed is available, but locations to build the shelters are needed.

"Ten years ago, everybody said 'Just lock them up,'" Ryu said. "But people have realized our jails are overcrowded. You can't arrest your way out of this problem."

While the need is great, neighbors say building shelters in Sherman Oaks will only bring more homeless to nearby residential areas.

They're concerned they'll see troubling situations.

"I've had a brick thrown at me by homeless, I've had my life threatened three times," Marcelli said. "It's so disgusting. We've found these transients in our Jacuzzi taking baths. If that's not disgusting, I don't know what is."

Not everyone is against the proposal, which is still in its infancy. Ryu said there will be many other informational meetings and assessments, before any decisions are made.

"I've been down and out myself, so I understand," Sherman Oaks resident David Gordon said. "But somebody has got to help these people somehow, so I think it's not really a question should they be helped or not, but how they should be helped."
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