around, he said.
On Monday, it became clear that hanging around the strip mall on the
300 block of North Verdugo Road was dangerous for the homeless man, Luis
Lopez. The 48-year-old Lopez was beaten by two men early Monday morning,
He was in serious condition at County-USC Medical Center on Tuesday.
Doctors were getting X-rays of Lopez to see how extensive the damage to
his skull was, said hospital spokeswoman Adelaida De La Cerda. Lopez was
not stabbed as earlier reported.
Lopez did not cause problems, area merchants said. But Marshalian did
notice a lot of beer bottles in the back as well as a strong odor of
urine and feces.
If the merchants really wanted to help Lopez, the best thing would
have been to call the Verdugo Mental Health Center's Street Outreach
team, said Stacey Rowe, senior administrative analyst for the city's
Community Developmentn and Housing Department.
The three Outreach Team members patrol the streets to encourage the
chronically homeless to get help from local shelters, Rowe said. Lopez
apparently had slept behind the trash bins in the alley of the strip mall
for six months to a year, merchants said.
The Outreach Team has no record of encountering Lopez, Rowe said. But
that alley may have developed a reputation for crime problems so the
homeless would steer clear of the area, Rowe said.
Glendale Sgt. Rick Young said the alley is out of the way and has two
entry points, making it a safer haven for criminals.
But most of the alley's gang and drug problems were in the 1980s,
Young said. Now most of the complaints in the alley are about vagrants
sleeping there, he added.
Rowe encouraged residents to call the Street Outreach program at
241-7521 if they see a homeless person who needs help. The Outreach team
can also be paged at 420-6262.