Some concerns arise over San Pedro bridge housing for homeless

SAN PEDRO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The homeless crisis in Southern California is reaching into neighborhoods unaccustomed to dealing with the issue.

On the streets of San Pedro around the post office, there are several homeless encampments with tents on the sidewalks.

"I was born and raised in San Pedro, and I've never seen it like this, you know. They go from this corner to that corner, they move around," said resident Henry Hernandez.

The city's solution is to build bridge housing, temporary shelter to get people off the street. Council member Joe Buscaino spoke about it recently during his state of the district.

"It provides homeless individuals with immediate access to shelter and services while they wait for more permanent housing solutions", Buscaino said.

But several homeless people Eyewitness News spoke with say they won't go to those housing facilities, even though they've been promised it will be safe.

"I don't believe that", said Carmen Luna, who said she's worried how she would be treated in the shelter.

"Putting us in places where we don't want to be and not letting us out. Supposedly they have somewhere they want to put us and it's like a lockup", said Cathy Guerrero, who is also homeless.

One place for the proposed bridge housing is a parking lot just across from the port, but residents are making it clear they don't want it.

"What's happening on the street is absolutely wrong", said a resident who doesn't want to be identified. She said there are families here with children, and they worry that homeless people will bring crime and drugs to the neighborhood.

"We are going have all kinds of drug dealers around here. There is a preschool just a block away, there's an art camp across the street for children," she said.

The city is planning to break ground during the summer for the bridge housing unit in San Pedro. Residents said they will continue to fight to move it to another area.
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