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Work is nearly complete on a temporary homeless shelter under construction at a city-owned parking lot on Schrader Boulevard in Hollywood.
The shelter will offer 70 beds in a 60-by-120-foot structure constructed with outer polyester or fiberglass membranes over rigid frames. It will be run by People Assisting the Homeless and the Center at Blessed Sacrament.
Located at 1533 Schrader Blvd., between Sunset Boulevard and Selma Avenue, the shelter will be in place for three years while permanent housing is built for homeless individuals. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of February.
“The temporary bridge housing project in Hollywood will provide critical services for the health and well-being of people affected by homelessness in the community, and we are determined to make it a success,” said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District. “In that sense, it can and should serve as a model for the city.”
Crews are also working on a temporary bridge housing shelter for women at the site of a former library on Gardner Street in the 4th Council District. That shelter, which is expected to open late next summer, will have 30 beds.
Kerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance and a member of the HHH Citizen’s Oversight Committee, said the new shelters are making progress in the effort to end homelessness. She said the new facilities will augment services provided by a shelter with approximately 65 beds for women at a YWCA facility in Hollywood, Hollywood First Presbyterian Church’s winter refuge shelter for 25-30 people, and the Center at Blessed Sacrament’s coordinated reentry program that helps homeless individuals find permanent housing.
“A year ago at this time, if you told us we would have all these good things in the works, we wouldn’t have believed it,” Morrison said. “It shows there is hope because we increasingly have more beds. There are also a lot more resources than a year ago.”
Morrison said teams of outreach workers from LAHSA, through a partnership between the city and county, have been contacting homeless individuals on the streets and linking them with services. A team of mental health experts from the county has also been recently deployed to Hollywood to help those with some of the most significant challenges to getting off the streets.
“There is no one in an encampment or on the streets that is not being engaged by a homeless outreach worker,” Morrison said, adding that more services are being provided through Measures H and HHH, voter-approved initiatives to address homelessness. “But housing is critically short. We don’t have enough housing but it’s coming online. I think the taxpayers should know their money is being put to good use.”
LAHSA is preparing to hold its annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count on Jan. 22-24. Volunteers are still being sought for the count, which occurs throughout Los Angeles County. People will canvass neighborhoods and count individuals living on the streets and in vehicles. The statistics help guide the dissemination of resources in the coming year. To volunteer, visit theycountwillyou.org.
The 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count showed the first decrease in homeless individuals in years. There were approximately 53,000 individuals living on the streets or in shelters countywide, and approximately 31,000 in the city of Los Angeles. Morrison expects the numbers to be lower in the 2019 homeless count because of more services being provided and more shelters opening.
“Things are coming together but it takes time,” Morrison said. “There are still a lot of challenges, but I am so much more hopeful than I was a year ago.”
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