First Temporary Homeless Shelter in Garcetti's Citywide Program to Open

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Mayor Eric Garcetti plans to announce today the opening of the first temporary homeless shelter in Los Angeles as part of a larger plan to install them in each of the 15 City Council districts.

The shelter near the El Pueblo Historical Monument is expected to house 45 people in three trailers in a city-owned parking lot, with two additional trailers for hygiene services and space for the on-site service workers.

Garcetti plans to discuss the temporary shelter during a morning news conference with City Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the neighborhood, and other officials.

The “Bridge Home” program was first announced by Garcetti during his State of the City speech in April as a new front in the fight against homelessness, which has grown by about 75 percent over the last six years. The 2018 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found that more than 31,000 people are homeless in the city, including more than 23,000 living without shelter, which were both slight drops from the previous year.

The shelters are intended as a temporary solution to the problem while the city builds thousands of permanent supportive units approved in 2016 by city voters through Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond measure. The temporary shelters will help transition homeless people off the street and into permanent housing, along with providing them access to supportive services, including addiction counseling, Garcetti and other leaders have said.

The bridge program was approved by the City Council this year, which freed up $20 million in budget funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year for temporary homeless shelters. There is also an additional $10 million in budget funds that could be used for shelters. The city is also expecting to receive $85 million from the state as a one-time emergency grant for homeless programs, some of which could be used for the Bridge Home program, including $20 million just for Skid Row, where an estimated 2,000 people sleep in the street each night.

A total of $2.7 million was budgeted for the El Pueblo site, but city officials have estimated the final cost could come down to $2.4 million.

Photo: Getty Images

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