The temporary shelter will house up to 92 men and 23 women providing them with counseling, storage, support and hygiene services – final vote set for Friday in City Council.
The Los Angeles City Council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee unanimously approved (4-0) Wednesday Councilmember José Huizar’s motion to create another temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness at a privately owned building in Downtown Los Angeles. The item will now head to the full City Council for final approval.
Councilmember Huizar’s motion, which he introduced in January, is a City-County effort to further address homelessness in Downtown Los Angeles. The proposal calls for approximately 115 emergency shelter beds with services at 1426 Paloma Street in Council District 14.
“Downtown Los Angeles is the epicenter of Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis, “said Councilmember Huizar. “By working with the Mayor and the County, we’re helping more people get off the streets and into shelter with supportive services, while long-term housing is built through Measure HHH.”
Emergency funding for the lease is available from the state and will be allocated through Mayor Garcetti’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.
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.
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.
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 caseworker 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 600 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.
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.