Could not authenticate you.followers
Step Up on Vine, a three-story building on Vine Street providing housing for homeless people in Hollywood, received clearance on March 1 to begin allowing residents to move in.
Located just south of Santa Monica Boulevard, the structure underwent a year-long renovation project. Formerly a hotel known as the Galaxy Inn, the site was purchased a couple of years ago by the Santa Monica-based nonprofit organization Step Up on Second, who renovated it into a transitional housing facility for homeless individuals with mental illness. The building has 34 units — 32 for residents and two for managers. There will be an on-site case manager who will assist residents with their daily needs, and steer them on a path to retain permanent housing. The building was renovated with LEED–certified amenities such as a rooftop garden, where residents can grow fruits and vegetables, and there will also be a café.
“It is very exciting for us,” said Steven Spielberg, project manager for Step Up on Second. “We are bringing our presence to Hollywood, and we want to replicate the world-class model we have for supportive housing for the homeless that we started in Santa Monica.”
Spielberg said the total cost for the project was $15.1 million, and it was paid for through federal tax credits, and contributions from the Los Angeles Housing Department, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and public and private donors. Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, 3rd District, contributed $250,000 for the project as part of the county’s effort to address homelessness.
“This is a project that provides permanent supportive housing in Hollywood for the homeless, and it is part of the long-term strategy. It is the only way we can permanently address and solve the homeless problem in Los Angeles County,” Yaroslavsky said. “It is designed to get people off the street and give them the tools they need to function in society. It serves to remedy the issues that led to them becoming homeless in the first place.”
Spielberg said a “lifestyle manager” at Step Up on Vine will help residents get used to living independently, and will provide assistance in getting to doctor’s appointments, counseling sessions and obtaining employment. He said many residents need a period of adjustment when they move in.
“Some of them have not lived indoors for several years, and they need to learn how to live indoors. It takes some time for them to get used to it. We have had some people who slept on the floor for a year because they were not used to having a bed,” Spielberg said. “We help them with everything they need, from paying the bills to laundry and cooking. It’s all the skills you and I take for granted.”
Step on Second currently provides approximately 140 units of housing at its different facilities. The organization partners with the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health to identify potential residents, and has a team of employees who regularly drive around the Hollywood and Santa Monica areas to find homeless individuals who may qualify for assistance. Once the residents begin receiving county assistance and are vetted and approved by Step Up on Second, their housing is subsidized through the Section 8 public assistance housing program. The section 8 subsidies, along with Step Up on Second, fund the staff and programs at the site.
Spielberg said Step Up on Vine should be fully occupied within the next couple of weeks, and added that the waiting list for the 32 units had nearly 100 names. It is estimated that there are more than 500 homeless individuals living on the streets in Hollywood at any given time.
“There is definitely a need for this in Hollywood,” he added. “The county helps us identify the clients, and I believe the waiting list was triple the number of units we have.”
Step Up on Vine is the third project the organization has opened in the Hollywood area. A building called “Michael’s Village” provides approximately 30 units near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Formosa Avenue, and “The Tammy” provides 10 units of housing in the 1100 block of Tamarind Avenue. Spielberg said the organization hopes to build more than 200 units of housing in the future.
Yaroslavsky said Step Up on Vine is one of many housing projects for the homeless he hopes can be completed in the near future. In addition to projects in Hollywood, his office is currently working with the Veterans Administration to launch a transitional housing program in West Los Angeles, and is seeking other opportunities.
“Hopefully, we will be able to take it to 600 units,” Yaroslavsky said. “We are trying to bring this model into different communities, because it has been very successful.”
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Leave a Reply