One of the more bizarre exercises of public vanity in Los Angeles has been Donald T. Sterling’s ongoing exhibition of full-page ads in the LA Times.  You’ve probably seen them: An announcement that Sterling has been named “Humanitarian of the Year,” featuring an enormous headshot of the Clippers' owner.  Sometimes, he’s surrounded by smaller pictures of Clipper front office personnel and local pols; other times it’s exclusively his mug on the page.  Over the past couple of years, you might have noticed a new ad in the rotation, proclaiming the development of the $50 million Sterling Homeless, Medical, and Legal Center down at 6th and Wall in Skid Row.  

To a season-ticket holder who’s always been a little uneasy with padding DTS’s pockets given his recent history with the civil justice system, the ads have been reassuring.  The fact that Sterling would take on such a project actually conformed to my more holistic, though totally speculative, theory that ol’ Donald Tokowitz was setting the entirety of his house in order:  He’d again lease apartments to Latino folks in Koreatown.  He’d start extending competitive contracts to quality NBA players.  And now, he’d assume a lead role in tackling the homeless problem.  

According to a cover story in the LA Weekly, there’s only one problem:
From homeless-services operators to local politicians, no one has received specifics for the proposed Sterling Homeless Center. They aren’t the least bit convinced that the project exists.

Sterling and his people have been flirting with homeless advocates and existing facilities downtown for the better part of two years about cooperating on the project, but there’s an eerie pattern to the dalliances.  After a few conceptual discussions, Sterling goes missing.  No formal permits have been filed with the city.  No proposals have come in front of local agencies or officials.  Sterling’s campaign has all the hallmarks of publicity whoring.

Read the piece. It’s got quality sourcing – not only from homeless advocates who’ve been jilted by Sterling and his deputies, but from people like the pragmatic and extremely quotable developer Tom Gilmore.