First temporary homeless shelter is opening in Downtown

El Pueblo site part of city’s $30M contested effort to tackle homeless crisis

Sep.September 06, 2018 03:00 PM
City leaders joined to celebrate the opening of the first temporary homeless shelter (Credit: Mayor’s Office)

At least 45 homeless Angelenos will be housed and given living support next week at a temporary shelter near Downtown, in the first installment of the city’s new, heavily-contested homeless assistance program.

The shelters are part of A Bridge Home, a $30 million housing project intended to ease limitations to building shelters so they can be erected on city-owned land. Despite persistent controversy over the larger plan, the city hopes to add 1,500 temporary beds across all 15 council districts through the program, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The first shelter, which will house about 45 people, is scheduled to open Sept. 10 at 711 N. Alameda St. in the El Pueblo District. Gensler, the architecture firm, designed the site pro bono.

Homeless people can stay with their domestic partners or bring pets. They will have bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities and storage facilities. The facilities will be open 24 hours per day. On-site staff will offer health services, case management, and help the residents find permanent housing in three to six months.

The shelters are supposed to shut down after three years. That could be too soon, advocates warn, but staying open indefinitely would be expensive. Costs for the El Pueblo shelter have ballooned to $2.4 million from $2 million.

In January, Garcetti dedicated $20 million to the shelter program while the city council added $10 million. The city also is finalizing its application for more state funds that can be used for shelters, housing and drop centers.

Thirteen sites are currently being reviewed, and others are in the beginning stages. Even with all those sites, Los Angeles won’t have enough beds for the thousands of people living on the streets. The number of homeless residents in the city has grown by almost 50 percent since 2013.

All but two council members have publicly identified possible shelter or storage sites in their districts, mostly on lots owned by the city, Metro or public utilities. The mayor said the city might also convert warehouses and other existing buildings into shelters.

But it has been more difficult than anticipated to execute, as city leaders have struggled to establish where the shelters can be located. Mass demonstrations killed a shelter plan which was originally set to be the program’s first, on public property along Vermont Avenue near Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown. Brokers and real estate executives told The Real Deal that the plan made developers nervous as well. Protests have also heated up in Venice and other neighborhoods where residents and business owners say it would be too disruptive.

In response, the city has started to examine sites on private property instead. [LAT] — Gregory Cornfield

Related Articles

Greenland Holdings has already decided to sell one downtown Los Angeles Metropolis tower and convert another into apartments, as it struggles to sell two others.

Can influencers and college students save Greenland’s Metropolis?

AIDS Healthcare Foundation executive director Michael Weinstein is suing the center of measure HHH

AIDS Healthcare Foundation sues city over Skid Row project

Eric Garcetti’s administration wants to encourage downtown development by axing parking requirements.

To build more housing downtown, LA wants to kill the car

Governor Gavin Newsom and a homeless tent encampment in Skid Row in September 2019 (Credit: Getty Images)

Landlords can now raise rent on tenants who house friends at risk of homelessness

KTGY CEO Tricia Esser and the Trust Building

Rising Realty signs KTGY Architecture as first tenant at renovated Trust Building

Rendering of 1400 South Flower Street (Credit: DLANC)

Shovel-ready in DTLA: Multifamily developer seeks $20M for construction site

Rod Richerson, Western regional president for KBS and Union Bank Plaza

Union Bank Plaza’s $20M makeover starts years after KBS failed to sell the building

John Westerfield is CEO of MFA and a rendering 8th & Fig (Credit: DLANC)

Mitsui Fudosan’s 438-unit tower project advances past appeals