A Bridge Home Shelter Opens in Watts

 

Men's sleeping tent, Watts Bridge Home shelter

More than 200 people jammed the courtyard for the opening of the new A Bridge Home Shelter in Watts November 13. Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed the crowd, along with Joe Buscaino, LA City Councilman for the area, in CD 15, and other dignitaries. The Mayor said this shelter, at 2316 E. Imperial Highway, is the ninth to be completed out of a planned 26. Each of the city’s 15 council districts is ordered to build at least one of these new generation, more humane, bridge housing shelters.

A November chart on the Mayor’s website (copy below) lists 8 of the new shelters completed of 25 pledged. Mayor Garcetti reported that there are actually 9 of 26 finished.

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LA County Registrar Seeking Locations and Sponsors for Community Vote Centers

 

NEWS RELEASE, February 4, 2019

 Media Contact:
Brenda Duran: 562-462-2726  Mike Sanchez: 562-462-2648

 LA County Registrar Kicks Off Second Round of Community Meetings for Input on Vote Centers

Community-Based Organizations Interested in Participating Can Apply Online

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) is kicking off the second round of community meetings for the Vote Center Placement Project. Interested community-based organizations who want to partner and facilitate outreach meetings within their communities are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of these meetings will be to engage the public on the suggested locations of Vote Centers for 2020 and will educate residents on the future voting experience in Los Angeles County.

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Measure H Funding Opportunities

Current and prospective homeless service providers: Here is information on how to apply for a contract with a Los Angeles County department or the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) for a share in the Measure H funding for expanding homeless services in LA County.

A downloadable PDF of this information is available at the bottom of the article.

27th Annual Empowerment Congress: Saturday, January 19, 2019

The 27th Annual Empowerment Congress will be held at Charles Drew University, 1731 E. 120th Street, LA 90059, on Saturday, January 19th. Registration begins at 8:00 am, the program to follow at 9:00 am. The featured speaker will be US Congreessmember Karen Bass. For further information call 213-346-3247. Click on the headline above to see or download a larger version of the poster pictured below.

Volunteer now for the January 2019 Homeless Count

Every year, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) conducts a census of the homeless population of L.A. County through the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. The Count affects county, state, and federal funding for L.A.’s homeless and pinpoints where help is most needed. At least 8,000 volunteers are needed to canvas more than 80 cities and 200 communities across L.A. County.

The count will be held on January 22, 23, and 24, 2019. We are concerned in particular with the count for our area, South Los Angeles, which will be held on Thursday, January 24.

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LA Times Homeless Article Acknowledges One of SPA 6 's Own Providers

Rev. Richard Reed

The February 12 Los Angeles Times ran a long article on measures before the City Council to rapidly secure housing for the homeless. A major part of their report focused on a measure to make it easier to convert motels into shared rooms or small apartments. The case they featured as a successful example was a motel on Figueroa in South Los Angeles, in Service Planning Area 6 (SPA6), leased to the First To Serve homeless service agency:

“The onetime motel on Figueroa Street houses dozens of formerly homeless women and children, who sleep in simple rooms furnished with dressers and televisions and eat dinners of chicken enchiladas and chili downstairs.

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Letter from SPA6 Homeless Coalition in Support of Lorena Plaza Project

 

August 14, 2017

 Chair Jose Huizar and Members of the Planning & Land Use Management Committee (PLUM)
City of Los Angeles
200 N. Spring Street, Room 360
Los Angeles, CA  90012

c/o City Clerk

 RE:     C.F. 16-0503 – Lorena Plaza project

 Dear Chairman Huizar and Members of the PLUM Committee:

 We are writing in support of the Lorena Plaza project, 3407 E. First Street, Los Angeles, 90063, and to urge the Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) to deny the CEQA appeal filed by El Mercado.

Important Setback for Homeless Housing

Architect's projection of completed Lorena Plaza, 3047 E 1st Streeet, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles

The Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) on August 16 rejected a plan from the highly regarded A Community of Friends (ACOF) to build a 49-unit affordable income apartment house in Boyle Heights, half of whose tenants would be mentally ill homeless.

The Affordable Housing Crisis Won’t Be Over Soon

Mija Town Homes, 4501 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles 90037. One of the all-too-few affordable housing complexes in Los Angeles.

A daunting complex of causes stands behind Los Angeles’ crisis-level lack of affordable housing. Too few houses and too expensive ones, along with very low wages, are the single biggest causes of the city’s huge homeless population. According to Professor Dennis P. Culhane, an authority on homelessness at the University of Pennsylvania, “It’s not personal vulnerabilities of drug use or illness driving homelessness. It’s a lack of access to housing. If there were lots of available housing, all of these vulnerabilities would be hidden.” (8-2-2017 LA Times)

Toilet Crisis on Skid Row

In January and February, 24 people from 15 organizations, calling themselves the Los Angeles Central Providers Collaborative, conducted an audit of toilets available to the homeless in Downtown’s 50-block Skid Row. Their shocking findings became headline news when they released their 64-page report, “No Place to Go,” in late June. For a nighttime unsheltered population they listed at 1,777, they found only 9 working public toilets, all of them at a single location: the Midnight Mission shelter, 601 S. San Pedro Street. This is eight blocks from the northeast and northwest corners of Skid Row and 9 blocks from the southeast border. A long walk at night. The number of estimated users was taken from the 2016 homeless count, and is today more than 2,000.

Los Angeles Housing Crisis Feeds Homelessness

Median rents in Los Angeles increased 32% between 2000 and 2017, according to a May 2017 report by the Public Policy Institute of California. Over the same period, household income decreased by 3% when adjusted for inflation. The real estate website Trulia reports that in Spring 2017 the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles was $2,600. A UC Berkeley study by the Urban Analytics Lab found a slightly lower figure, at $2,499. In large parts of Los Angeles this is more than the total annual median household income. In the Adams-Normandie section of South Los Angeles, median household income is $29,000 a year, or $2,417 a month; in Watts it is $25,000, or $2,083 a month.

Supervisors Vote to Put Sales Tax Hike on March Ballot to Help Homeless

New County Board of Supervisors. From left:
Sheila Kuehl, Hilda Solis, Janice Hahn, Kathryn
Barger, Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The installation of two new County Supervisors December 5 broke a stalemate that had kept the divided board from moving ahead to seek major long-term funding for homeless services. City voters November 8 passed Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond issue to pay to buy or construct 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing for the chronic homeless, about 13,000 of the countywide total of almost 47,000. Without case management and supportive services this difficult population, many of whom suffer from mental illness or substance abuse problems, cannot be gotten off the streets. The 5-member board on December 6 voted unanimously to place a quarter-cent sales tax increase on the March ballot. This will boost the tax from 9.25 percent to 9.5 percent.

The board had voted on the same issue last July, but the measure was defeated by opposition from Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe. These two termed out and were replaced by former Congressperson Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger. This time the vote in favor was unanimous. The tax increase would expire after ten years. It requires two-thirds support to pass.

There was an unusual level of support for the measure. The supervisors received more than 2,000 letters of support, and more than 100 people spoke during public comment, most in favor of the tax. The meeting was attended by City Council members Jose Huizar, Gil Cedillo, and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, all supporting the tax. Huizar told radio station KPCC, "When we asked voters what their most important issue is, poll after poll came back with homelessness. It costs us more, one way or another, if we leave these folks on the street."

 

The sales tax increase would be expected to generate about $355 million a year. Full implementation of the county's February 2016 homeless plan would cost about $450 million. The supervisors hope the difference can be made up from the county's general fund.

South Los Angeles Homeless Winter Shelter Program Extended to March 31

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has contracted with providers throughout the county to offer night shelter beds during cold weather. The program for 2016-2017 will run from December 1, 2016, to March 1, 2017. Below are the three shelter locations in Service Planning Area 6, South Los Angeles. Times may vary due to traffic or weather. Schedule may be adjusted to meet current needs. Please arrive 5 minutes early.

Service Planning Area: 6 (South Los Angeles)

First To Serve, Inc. (150 bed program)

Location: Ward AME Church, 1177 W. 25th St., Los Angeles (150 beds)

(323) 522-1930

Transportation Pick-up Point: Union Rescue Mission, Southeast Corner of Intersection 6th & San Julian Streets, Downtown Los Angeles. Time: 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm & 5:30 pm

Alternate Pick-up Point: MacArthur Park (Across from UCLA Labor Center), 645 S. Parkview Ave., Los Angeles CA. Time: 4:30 pm (ONLY)

No walk-ups will be allowed. Guests will be only allowed to bring one small bag into the shelter.

 

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New Regional Homelessness Advisory Council (RHAC) to Coordinate Countywide Homeless Policy

Los Angeles has a joint county-city agency to oversee the battle to end homelessness: the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). The intractability of the problem led city and county authorities at the beginning of 2016 to look for a format that would expand LAHSA's connections to the many players in the city and county whose influence or expertise can contribute to solving the homeless crisis.

These include mental health services, hospitals and clinics, the police, churches, businesses, schools, and the many public nonprofit and charitable groups that provide services of many kinds.

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Meetings


St. Joseph Center/First To Serve, Broadway Manchester Access Center, 8525 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003

The SPA6 Homeless Coalition meets usually on the second Friday of every month. Our regular meetings are held from 10:00 to 12:00 pm at the St. Joseph Center/First To Serve offices at 8525 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003. Quarterly the meetings are held jointly with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. at a location to be announced. 

Our next meeting will be on Friday, December 13, 2019, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the St. Joseph Center/First To Serve, Broadway Manchester Access Center, 8525 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003. There is a parking lot two doors to the north on the same side of the street.

 

Phoenix Hall, 10950 S. Central Avenue,  Los Angeles, CA 90059. It is at the back of the parking lot.