Los Angeles Quietly Shelled Out $11.5 Million To Cover Damages At Ritzy Hotel That Housed Homeless

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The city of Los Angeles has spent more than $11.5 million in taxpayer money to cover damages at a luxury hotel turned into a homeless shelter, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The Mayfair Hotel, a boutique hotel in the heart of L.A., was turned into a temporary homeless shelter in 2020 as part of former Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Project Roomkey” initiative, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Mayfair suffered millions of dollars in damages over the course of two years, and staff and security assigned to the hotel routinely dealt with violent behavior, drug overdoses and property damage.

“Participant in [room] 1516 Threatened staff, Security, destroyed property. Screamed. Yelled cursed. Everything went wrong with her. Inside and outside the building,” reads a 2022 email from a staff member assigned to the hotel, according to the L.A. Times. (RELATED: Tucker Joins Famous Rapper For Tour Through Homeless-Infested Streets)

“Around 10 am a male in 1526 assaulted another resident in Room 726,” reads another 2022 email from a security guard. “The situation was quickly broken up and 1526 was escorted out by police.”

Reports from staff and security detail homeless residents at the hotel breaking windows and throwing objects out of them onto the street below, punching through walls, vandalizing bathrooms and destroying countertops and televisions, according to the L.A. Times. Nurses assigned to the hotel described their exhausted efforts to deal with drug use and overdoses; one nurse noted that “it’s like this every day” after finding sheets of tinfoil used to consume fentanyl in one room.

Outside the hotel, residents and business owners reported similar behaviors of crime and violence from homeless residents at the Mayfair, according to the L.A. Times. One woman who worked as a cashier near the hotel said people regularly robbed her shop; another person said his car windshield was shattered with a crowbar.

Democratic Mayor Karen Bass wants to revive Project Roomkey and turn the Mayfair back into a homeless shelter, but residents and business owners in the area are pushing back, according to the L.A. Times.

“The neighborhood is still recovering from Project Roomkey. The purchase of the Mayfair would just completely destroy the community once again,” said one resident living across from the hotel, the L.A. Times reported.

“I don’t want them back in this neighborhood,” said another resident. “I want my peace. I am 66 years old and I want my peace.”

Bass did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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