On July 12, U.S. Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) announced that the effort to authorize the West Los Angeles National Guard Armory’s expansion of its homeless shelter services passed a major hurdle thanks to provisions in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act.
The effort, spearheaded in the House by Lieu and Hill, modifies the deed at the West L.A. Armory to allow a shelter to operate on the property year-round. If the measure is signed into law, the county plans to construct a shelter that will provide 24/7 housing with intensive case management services, including mental health and physical health services.
In April,. Lieu, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) introduced legislation that became the framework for this NDAA provision. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Hill was integral in ensuring the language was included in the Defense Authorization bill. The U.S. Senate must now consider its Defense Authorization measure and the two bills will then be conferenced.
“Homelessness is a pressing concern in my district and throughout Southern California,” Lieu said. “The Armory’s newly planned year-round shelter will give more people access to temporary housing and social services. I owe thanks to Rep. Hill for championing this as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as Supervisor Kuehl, Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Bonin and the National Guard for their support of this effort. I’m glad we’re able to support this project, and I will continue to fight for more funding to address the challenging problem of homelessness.”
Hill, the former director of People Assisting the Homeless, said she’s spent her “entire career working to address the issue of homelessness, as the former executive director of California’s largest homelessness services organization.”
“Through my position on the House Armed Services Committee, I was honored to work with Rep. Lieu’s office, as well as our city and county stakeholders back in Los Angeles, to ensure that the Armory’s year-round shelter will give our most vulnerable community members access to the shelter and services they need,” Hill said. “I’m proud to champion our state, local and federal partnerships and address the absolutely critical issue of homelessness, both locally and across our country.”
Currently, a winter shelter is run out of the Armory that does not provide 24-hour service and care. With the creation of a year-round shelter, more individuals will have access to case management services and will not be forced to leave the facilities during the day.
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