SYLMAR (CNS) - A Bridge Home facility opened today in the northeast San Fernando Valley to house 85 homeless women in the area.
The Sylmar shelter, named “The Arroyo,'' is located in a former armory previously owned by the state of California and will be operated by the nonprofit LA Family Housing.
“Four years ago, it was (Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's) ad hoc committee on women experiencing homelessness that shed light on the unique experiences and trauma women face while living unsheltered,'' said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president and CEO of LA Family Housing. “This beautiful haven of The Arroyo, which will have an entirely female-identified staff, is designed to nurture and lift up the women living here.''
The facility offers gardens, a yoga studio, art therapy programs and mental health support to help the women transition to permanent supportive housing. There are 15 beds for recuperative care with services operated by Serenity Care Health, Klasky-Gamer said.
“I'm proud that in a community like Sylmar ... where so many women and families continue to struggle, that here we will provide these safe havens that will get them back on their feet and off the streets,'' said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who represents the district where The Arroyo is located.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city is on its way to opening two dozen A Bridge Home facilities in Los Angeles by the end of July, with a total of 1,800 transitional beds.
Garcetti said two A Bridge Home facilities will open next week on the same day, but he did not provide details on those openings.
“This is a place to stabilize, to breathe, to bring your pets and your possessions, if necessary, a place to be able to get the services you need,'' Garcetti said.
The Arroyo was established using $3.6 million in state Homeless Emergency Aid Program funding, according to Klasky-Gamer, who said county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was also instrumental in getting the bridge facility opened.
According to a statement released by Kuehl's office when construction on the facility was announced, the building is 11,369 square feet and sits on 5.1 acres, and in past years it operated as a seasonal winter shelter.