1. Why are you putting a shelter in my neighborhood?
This location is being studied for “bridge” housing, not the nightly housing that most people think of as a traditional “shelter”. Bridge Housing residents have met basic permanent housing program eligibility requirements and are actively working with case managers to locate permanent housing. Residents will live here for a minimum of 90 days with extension of up to 2 years.
2. Why here? Why can’t you put it in other neighborhoods?
This crisis affects all neighborhoods, and to solve this crisis we will need multiple sites in multiple neighborhoods. All council districts are looking for locations, and Council District 4 is looking for additional locations throughout our district.
3. Why can’t you turn the building into something else?
Homelessness is one of the biggest crisis facing our city, and we now have the funding to begin to do something about it. There is not funding for other projects – such as a senior center or other community center – nor is there as much of a critical emergency need.
4. Who is going to live here?
This project is being designed for women, or potentially women and children only. Because of the limits of the size of the existing building (no expansion or external additions will be part of this project) and the requirements for separate facilities for men and women, a single-gender program is what makes most sense at this location. There is a critical need for emergency housing for women in the County of LA according to the most recent homeless count. Women face much higher rates of assault in traditional, mixed-gender bridge housing and shelters, which can deter them from seeking resources or housing. In 2017, we saw more women and children living on the streets of Los Angeles than any previous year, the largest percentage increase of any group.
5. How are the residents chosen?
Residents will be placed through the “CES” process – the Coordinated Entry System. The Coordinated Entry System (CES) is a countywide system that brings together new and existing programs and resources in order to connect people experiencing homeless to the most appropriate housing and services to end their homelessness. Individuals placed at this location will already be in the housing and services pipeline, and have demonstrated a commitment to getting themselves off of the street. Outreach will be targeted to women experiencing homelessness in the immediate area.
6. Who will run this Bridge Housing location?
The non-profit operator will go through a selection process with LAHSA to ensure it is operating at the federal, state, county and city guidelines. Future updates on the timeline of choosing an operator will be provided.
7. What about security and safety?
There will be staff on site 24 hours a day, including security staff. Currently the building is vacant with no staff on site except for the monthly maintenance of the scrubber. Break-ins and vandalism to the building are frequent.
8. What will happen to the Sanitation venting station?
During construction of the Bridge Housing site, the Bureau of Sanitation will also be replacing the scrubber that is currently located onsite with a new one that is smaller, more efficient, and includes the most up-to-date technology. Once complete, this new scrubber should bring improvements to the occasional odors experienced in the neighborhood. The scrubber was originally scheduled to be replaced a few years from now, but it is being done simultaneously with the building reconstruction to shorten the timeline and minimize disruptions to the neighborhood.