Redevelopment Plan of 1975 and Skid Row


As development began and industrial markets grew — particularly the flower and fashion districts adjacent to Skid Row — the need to “improve” Skid Row arose. Various groups consistently initiated efforts to improve the community.

In 1975, a Redevelopment Plan was adopted, which included a “Policy of Containment.” This policy concentrated social service agencies and people experiencing homelessness in one section of the city, where many of them naturally congregated. The goal of the policy was to stabilize and centralize the area to make services more accessible, not to crowd the area with people experiencing homelessness or fence them in.

Since 1975, there have been improvements in Skid Row in terms of services for people experiencing homelessness. Two parks in the area have been rehabilitated, nonprofit-owned SROs have moved into the area, and many service facilities have been renovated and/or relocated.

In addition to infrastructure redevelopment, service providers are recognizing a need to rehabilitate people — rather than just providing meals and beds. Several shelters — including Union Rescue Mission — provide 24-hour services (rather than overnight only), rehabilitation programs, and a safe place for people during the day.

There may be several definition of the boundaries of Skid Row, but the one we see to be most accurate and widely accepted is 3rd and 7th Streets, to the North and South, and Alameda and Main, to the East and West, respectively.The image on the left is of the 200 block on East 5th Street in the 1970s.