LOS ANGELES (January 30, 2019) — In a joint City-County effort to further address homelessness in Downtown Los Angeles, Councilmember José Huizar introduced a motion today calling for a property lease to be finalized that will allow for approximately 115 emergency shelter beds with services at 1426 Paloma Street in Council District 14.
Emergency funding for the lease is available from the state and will be allocated through the Mayor’s “A Bridge Home” program. Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Huizar successfully opened the pilot Bridge Home site in September at El Pueblo, also in Downtown Los Angeles. The Paloma Street location would likely be the third A Bridge Home facility to open in the City and the second in Council District 14.
“We have an obligation to help those living on our streets and while supportive housing through Measure HHH is our long-term goal, we need to offer hope now to people and emergency housing with supportive services is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Councilmember Huizar.
Los Angeles County, under the leadership of District 2 Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, will fund the critical services for those staying at the future site through Measure H dollars. Measure H, approved by voters in March 2017, will enable LA County’s Housing for Health Division and the nonprofit “Home at Last” to provide Paloma residents with essential wraparound services.
“With the Paloma site, about 115 women and men who currently sleep on the streets of downtown LA will be put on a path to stable and supportive housing,” said Dhakshike Wickrema, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ deputy for homeless policy. “This is Measure H at work, giving our residents a chance to attain lives of dignity and worth.”
Councilmember Huizar is the co-author of Measure HHH and was the first City Councilmember to work with the Mayor to bring emergency housing with supportive services to his council district. He also called for a triage-like response to the homeless crisis in and around Skid Row. The Mayor and City Council placed $10 million in the City budget for emergency response to areas of high concentration, like Skid Row. Another $20 million in state funding for emergency response to homelessness has been directed by the Mayor and City Council to go toward the Skid Row area.
The United Way’s Home Everyone In program is a long-time supporter of increased housing with services for those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
“United Way’s Everyone In campaign has been proud to partner with Councilmember Huizar’s office, community leaders, and advocates who are fighting to bring high quality bridge housing to downtown Los Angeles,” said Tommy Newman, United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “Our homelessness crisis demands solutions exactly like the one proposed.”
Around A Bridge Home facilities, the City focuses extra sanitation and police resources, as well as targeted outreach to people encamped in the surrounding area. Ninety days prior to a Bridge Home facility opening, outreach teams are deployed to inform people living in the surrounding area of housing options that are available to them and offer an opportunity to sign-up for the Bridge Home’s waitlist. Once opening, each of the beds located in the facility are assigned and each of the individuals housed is a assigned a dedicated case worker who assists with connecting them with services, such as a job training, addiction programs, therapy, as well as transitioning into supportive housing.
The 2018 Homeless Count identified some 700 people living without shelter in the industrial area of Downtown south of Skid Row, from 7th to 21st streets between Maple Avenue and Alameda Street.
The Paloma Street site was identified when the property owner, Michael Kaboud, approached the County about using part of his facility to address the homelessness crisis. The site is currently a clothing warehouse and Kaboud is dedicating part of the space to bridge housing. The property owner will continue to operate an adjacent portion of the building for his business.
“I am happy to partner with the city and county on this new Bridge Home and to be doing my part in the fight to house our homeless,” said property owner Michael Kaboud.
Service providers, “Home At Last,” will provide on-site wrap-around services, such as counseling, housing navigation, therapy, and medical attention. The site will also have 24-hour security in addition to an increased LAPD presence around the area.
In addition to the A Bridge Home facility site currently operating at El Pueblo, a site is expected to open in the coming weeks in the Hollywood area of CD13.
The Paloma Street location requires minor tenant improvements and is expected to be operational in as few as three months.