Residents of Percy Street, a quiet cul-de-sac in Boyle Heights, lived comfortably for years with the elderly residents who once occupied Percy Village, a two-story brick building that takes up three quarters of their residential block.
But now, some neighbors are up in arms about what they view as the transformation of their neighborhood with the conversion and expansion of the facility into a transitional home for the mentally ill.
Today, the Gateways Percy Village Adult Residential Facility is one of the largest community-based residential mental health facilities in Los Angeles, housing up to 136 adults. Most residents come there from acute psychiatric settings – mainly locked facilities.
Neighbors who live in the tidy homes and duplexes on surrounding blocks are concerned both about the sheer number of residents with mental illnesses and their lack of supervision.
Until 2005, Percy Village was a rest home for the elderly. Because residential facilities for the mentally ill fall into the same zoning category as facilities for the elderly, no special permits or public hearings were required when the change was made, according to the Los Angeles Department of City Planning.
While some neighbors are sympathetic to the facility’s goal of integrating its residents back into society, they don’t believe it has an effective program to address neighbors’ concerns.
Read more at Boyle Heights Beat