HOLLYWOOD - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell on Tuesday evening welcomed dozens of local residents and stakeholders as they toured the newly-built bridge housing facility on Schrader Boulevard. The location will temporarily house up to 72 people at a time, while simultaneously offering supportive services to help match clients to permanent housing or other long-term solutions.
During the event, guests were able to learn about operations, outreach strategy, and enhanced City resources that will be delivered to the area.
“We are investing billions of dollars in permanent housing and services to end this crisis for good -- but our homeless neighbors can’t wait. They need a place to sleep tonight, and that’s what A Bridge Home brings to our communities,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I’m grateful to Councilmember O’Farrell for his hard work and leadership, as well as the many partners that have made today possible. This site in the heart of Hollywood is another important step forward, and we won’t stop working until we bring every homeless Angeleno indoors.”
“Homelessness is the number one crisis facing our City, and nothing less than an ‘all hands on deck’ approach will bring relief to our challenges,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “From day one, Hollywood has recognized the critical importance of working together to bring this resource to the area. This facility was built with a collaborative approach that is reflective and emblematic of the Hollywood community.”
The office of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has championed this project from the start: Councilmember O’Farrell originally introduced the motion which paved the way to build the project on the City-owned parking lot; his office led the community outreach before and during construction; and the office served as the liaison between City departments, partnering agencies, and local stakeholders.
“This innovative bridge housing program is a way to provide immediate assistance where it’s needed the most,” said The People Concern’s Miriam Gonzalez, who says there are 990 unsheltered individuals in Hollywood. “Having a shelter in the community where homeless individuals reside is paramount, and that will get people moving into more permanent housing.”
The bridge housing facility is the second such project built in the City as part of Mayor Garcetti’s “A Bridge Home” program. It will provide supportive services including case management and health and wellness programs; include on-site 24/7 security, laundry and hygiene facilities; and is expected to be operational for approximately three years. In addition, the bridge housing facility will have a pet relief area through a generous contribution from the Wallis Annenberg Petspace and the Annenberg Foundation.
“The crisis of homelessness has many causes. But to me, it has only one real cure: providing people with support, services and outreach that can actually turn their lives around, and lead to permanent homes,” said Wallis Annenberg, who is also working with the City on three additional sites. “And that’s why I want to help homeless Angelenos keep their companion animals as they stay in temporary housing, such as this new location in Hollywood. After all, pets need relief from the streets too. And the love and support of a companion animal can make all the difference to someone in a time of need. No human or companion animal should suffer the tragedy of homelessness.”
The facility will be operated by two seasoned service providers with roots in Hollywood: People Assisting The Homeless (PATH) and The Center at Blessed Sacrament. All residents will be formerly homeless individuals from the streets of Hollywood. Additional City resources will be dedicated to the area around the facility including enhanced outreach, sanitation, and public safety personnel.
“When I was homeless, I was in an old shelter model with a dorm-style room that was like jail,” said Shanae Cannon, who is now an outreach worker in Hollywood for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. “The new shelters give back more dignity and respect to people; residents will have their own cubicle and more space and the service providers are more aware. We’re bringing more lived-experience staff like me to better connect with the people we’re serving.”
In his work to further address the homeless crisis, Councilmember O’Farrell is also collaborating with City departments and agencies to establish a Safe Parking site at Edendale Library, and Supportive Housing off Glendale Blvd in Echo Park.