Homeless Shelter Supporters Hold Vigil in Response to Saturday's Protest

posted by Arianna Marie - 

After Saturday's protest on Gaffey Street over the proposed homeless shelter to be placed near homes in San Pedro, supporters responded with their own demonstration, a candle light vigil. 

Around 60 to 100 people gathered along the same stretch of Gaffey Street Monday holding candles in the dark and signs that read "Yes, in my backyard" and "Stand up for our unhoused neighbors." 

The demonstrators were showing their support for the temporary "bridge" home that would offer housing and services for the homeless until they could get permanent housing. 

Organizers and supporters with #SheDoes sponsored the demonstration and spoke to the DailyBreeze about why they support the shelter. “If we want a real solution to the problem, this is the solution," Mel Tillekeratne, one of the main organizers of #SheDoes said. 

The #SheDoes movement advocates for more shelter space for homeless women and supports the bridge housing projects throughout the city. Their goal for the vigil was to show that homeless people "still have a voice" and "have rights just like you and me."

Some who have been homeless themselves attended the vigil and spoke about their hopes that the temporary home will help more people get on their feet and find jobs as they have done. 

Critics continue to argue that the site is just too close to businesses, homes, recreation facilities and tourism areas. The push to move the shelter to Terminal Island where there is unused federal buildings is still active. 

The demonstrators from Saturday's protest are still urging for the recall of Councilman Buscaino from office after he has ignored the residents pleas and questions.  

A proposed shelter in Wilmington also had demonstrators upset and protesting along with the San Pedro residents Saturday. 

Valeria Contreras with Wilmington Lives Matter, Citizens for a better Wilmington will be on with John and Ken today at 4pm with more on the fight to recall Buscaino after he so wonderfully told John, "Bring it on!"

Photo: Getty Images

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