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Councilman Huizar pledges $50,000 to keep Skid Row parks open -- for now

By Hayley Fox
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013, at 03:49PM
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San Julian and Gladys parks on Skid Row will remain open for the time being because of a $50,000 allotment from area councilman Jose Huizar.

Only one day before two Skid Row parks were poised to close due to a lack of funding, area councilman José Huizar has announced that he's dedicating $50,000 in discretionary funds to keeping the parks open -- for now at least.

Huizar said he will be working with Recreation and Parks to take over daily maintenance needs at Gladys Park (which is city-owned) while he is petitioning the state to also bring San Julian Park under City control.

“Our parks in Skid Row are more than just recreational space, they are lifelines for many of our homeless individuals who use the parks to stay physically and mentally active in a positive and supportive environment,” said Huizar in a statement.

Both parks were previously run by the SRO Housing Corp., which for years received funding through the city’s now-dissolved Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). This new $50,000 allotment will go back to the SRO Housing Corp. so they may continue to run San Julian Park, while Huizar's office works to broker a deal on the space with the City and the state.

“Keeping them [the parks] open is absolutely critical," said the councilman. "These actions that we’re taking today represent the first step in ensuring they stay open for decades to come.”

Huizar's press representative, Rick Coca, said that they will continue to look for additional money to ensure the parks stay open until they are both under city control. Coca said they are hoping to accumulate a total of six months of operational funds.

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