Councilmember Huizar’s motion secures long-term location for ReFresh Spot, providing Skid Row residents public toilets, showers
and laundry services
(Los Angeles) July 3, 2019 – The Los Angeles City Council approved legislation Wednesday by Councilmember José Huizar supporting a new, long-term location, 544 Towne Avenue, for the Skid Row ReFresh Spot, a core part of the Councilmember’s emergency response to the crisis of homelessness in Skid Row.
In 2017, Councilmember Huizar introduced a motion, working with Mayor Garcetti and the Skid Row Community Improvement Coalition, to secure nearly $1.87 million in funding to establish a temporary personal hygiene center at 557 Crocker Street in Skid Row in response to the lack of public restrooms in the area and the local outbreak of Hepatitis A.
The City needs to move the current ReFresh Spot on Crocker Street so the Weingart Center, which owns that site, can begin construction of supportive housing funded by Measure HHH.
The ReFresh Spot has been well-received and provides more than 500 services per day. The facility is used for showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities, as well as referrals for additional homeless services. The hygiene center is open 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week and is operated under contract with the Skid Row based non-profit Homeless Health Care Los Angeles.
“The ReFresh Spot has become an important resource to Skid Row and is part of the necessary emergency response to the crisis on the streets, “said Councilmember Huizar. “Securing a long-term location is critical to providing the basic hygiene everyone deserves – a hot shower, clean clothes, safe restrooms and a sense of dignity.”
The new location is just a block away from the original site, is larger in size and needs only limited improvements to adapt it as the new ReFresh Spot. Its spaciousness also presents opportunities for a possible expansion of hygiene facilities and service-oriented programming.
In 2019, Councilmember Huizar has directed $11 million in emergency funding to provide bridge housing, storage space, and improve hygiene for the thousands of people who live on the streets of Skid Row by expanding access to bathrooms, showers, and drinking water.
Part of those funds will expand shower and restroom services in Skid Row, improvements for a voluntary storage space called “The Bin,” drinking fountains co-located with attended Automatic Public Toilets, and Sharps collection boxes to reduce improper disposal of hazardous materials.
The allocations are part of $20 million in state Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funds City Council approved specifically for Skid Row after Huizar made a public appeal in 2018 for more emergency resources for Skid Row – ground zero for homelessness in the City.
Councilmember Huizar is lobbying for an additional $20 million for Skid Row and Downtown from the $275 million Governor Newsom’s budget earmarks to California cities for homeless prevention measures.
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