LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Metro Board of Directors voted today to study installing showers and hygiene stations in or near some of its train stations as a response to the growing homeless problem in the county.
A motion to study the feasibility of installing the facilities as part of a pilot program at the Westlake/MacArthur Park Red/Purple Line Station and North Hollywood Red Line Station was unanimously approved. Board member and Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin noted that the city of Los Angeles already has a mobile shower program for the homeless.
``It's an amazing program. For those of us who are housed it is hard for us to imagine, but it is fundamentally transformative for someone who has been living on the streets to be able to take a shower,'' Bonin said. Inglewood Mayor and board member James Butts raised some issues with the proposal, although he did vote for it, and said he was worried it could attract more homeless to the train stations.
``I'm concerned that without careful thought we will impact the main business that we're in, and the main business that we're in is to increase ridership,'' he said. Homelessness in the city of Los Angeles jumped by 20 percent in 2017 while the county saw a spike of 23 percent compared to the previous year, according to the results of the 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count.
In the city, the total number of homeless went up to 34,189 and the county number increased to 57,794.