MacLaren Hall, which was opened in 1961, served as Los Angeles County's Emergency Shelter for abused and neglected children but was overcrowded and led by poorly trained staff. Many children were reportedly routinely abused by staff. Many of the abuses were worse than the abuse that brought them there in the first place. In reality, during that time period, Los Angeles County's Emergency Shelter was no different that most County Emergency Shelters in America where abuse was rampant and staff were inadequately trained and not qualified to deal with youth with mental health issues and special needs. The facility closed in June 2003 due to lawsuits that began to pour in from not only the ACLU, but also children that had been housed there.