LOS ANGELES – For the first time in its history, the 93rd Academy Awards is being held at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles.
It’s an area that is plagued by homelessness. But come Oscar Sunday, the homeless will not be seen anywhere near Union Station.
“They came to us about a week ago saying that we had to move by Friday 6 p.m. because they were trying to clean up for the Oscars and they told us if we didn’t move, they were gonna just demolish our stuff,” says DJ, a man living in a tent in downtown Los Angeles.
DJ says the city did offer an option.
“They forced us to go to the Grand Hotel on 3rd and Figueroa and they kicked everybody out of Union Station so it looks better for the image,” says DJ.
Not exactly a surprise to Andy Bales of Union Rescue Mission. Bales says anytime there is a big national event, Los Angeles tries to sweep its homelessness problem under the rug.
“We shouldn’t be about putting on a good show, we should be about doing good for our brothers and sisters, our neighbors who are suffering on our streets,” says Bales.
City Council member Kevin De Leon, who represents District 14, issued the following statement.
“While the 93rd Academy Awards are being held at Union Station this year, and despite irresponsible rumors, NO unhoused residents are being forced to relocate. Since being sworn in, my office has been painstakingly working to house those experiencing homelessness throughout my district and we were able to offer housing options to unhoused residents in the vicinity of Union Station.” DJ offers a piece of advice to the City of Los Angeles, “If you’re gonna have your awards show, don’t have it where the homeless people are and you don’t have to worry about it.”