By Sentinel News Service
Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Mayor Garcetti broke ground today on a new emergency bridge housing facility that will provide beds for 100 homeless Angelenos at a time, and offer on-site supportive services to help them transition into permanent housing. The project will be the first of Mayor Garcetti’s “A Bridge Home” sites to open in South L.A.
“We are investing on an unprecedented scale to build the supportive and affordable housing that will end this crisis. But our homeless neighbors can’t wait — they need a place to sleep right now, and that’s why we’re pushing hard to provide them with A Bridge Home,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This new facility will add badly needed emergency beds and services for Angelenos in South L.A. I am grateful to Councilmember Harris-Dawson for his leadership, and our county partners for their investment in the supportive services we need to make this initiative successful.”
The new bridge housing site on St. Andrews Place in South L.A. will continue utilizing the place-based emergency housing model that defines the Mayor’s A Bridge Home program. The beds will be filled through exhaustive outreach in the area immediately surrounding the facility.
Residents will have access to resources like mental health services and addiction counseling on site, and storage space for their possessions.
“Chesterfield Square and Hyde Park have long had many families and individuals living in cars and RVs this is the prime location to launch our first Bridge Home facility to provide a safe and secure location to receive services while being connected to permanent housing, ” said Councilmember Harris-Dawson.
“Later this year, we’re slated to break ground on several PSH developments throughout the district as well as a Navigation Center that will act as a one-stop shop in service provision, life skills training, counseling, laundry and restroom facilities.”
Services at the facility will be provided by the county through funding from Measure H, the landmark homeless services initiative approved by voters in 2017.
“Thanks to the services provided at this site, about 100 women and men who currently sleep on the streets of South L.A. will be put on a path to stable and supportive housing,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas. “This is Measure H at work and public-private partnership at its best, bringing everyone in and transforming lives.”
The is the first of four A Bridge Home sites that will break ground in South L.A. Three sites are already open in locations across the city, with several more expected to open in the coming weeks. The site in L.A.’s historic El Pueblo neighborhood, which has been open the longest, has already demonstrated the success of the model.
Since the facility opened in October 2018, crime has dipped in the surrounding area by two thirds, and the number of encampments has diminished from 100 to 37.
This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel.