This week, Councilmember Krekorian opened the first "A Bridge Home" transitional shelter for the homeless in the San Fernando Valley. He was joined by Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek and his wife Jean (who made a generous donation in support of the shelter), in cutting the ribbon. The beautiful new 15,000-square foot facility in North Hollywood will provide transitional shelter for 85 people who are currently living unhoused in the neighborhood. It has separate sections for men and women, a community room with computer workstations, and a dog run. Through careful planning and smart construction, this site is also the least expensive shelter of its kind, per bed, in the entire city.Read more
NORTH HOLLYWOOD - Councilmember Krekorian has long touted NoHo Home Alliance for its remarkable team of volunteers and vital on-site services available to people experiencing homelessness.Read more
Significant action has been taken to assist the almost 1,700 unsheltered homeless individuals that live in Council District 2. To meet the needs of those who are unsheltered, the District is developing two A Bridge Home shelters (13160 Raymer Street and 7700 Van Nuys Boulevard), as well as a Navigation Center at 11839 Sherman Way to provide storage and services to those in need. In addition, over 200 units of Proposition HHH permanent supportive housing units are anticipated to open over the next couple years.Read more
Last summer, Mayor Garcetti unveiled a new strategy regarding street cleanups, with the introduction of Comprehensive and Rapid Engagement (CARE) teams. As chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, I allocated $6.5 million for expansion of the teams, two of which are based in CD2.Read more
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, VAN NUYS - Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission voted to approve two permanent supportive housing projects in CD2 - NoHo 5050 and The Confianza. These two projects will provide 96 units of permanent supportive housing to the district.Read more
LA Launches Cleaning and Rapid Engagement Teams to Improve Cleanups and Services Around Homeless Encampments
LOS ANGELES - This past Tuesday marked the debut of the City's Cleaning and Rapid Engagement (CARE) teams. The teams, one of which is located in each council district, will use accurate data to rapidly deploy to clean up highest need sites in Council District 2.Read more
EAST VALLEY - This week, the City Council's Homelessness and Poverty Committee approved a new round of housing projects funded under Proposition HHH, the voter-approved bond measure intended to provide additional housing for people experiencing homelessness. Of the new projects in the pipeline, three are located in Council District 2, which makes a total of five proposed homeless housing projects in the East Valley since HHH passed overwhelmingly in November 2016. These facilities are a critical part of the ongoing effort to help our homeless neighbors in the community.Read more
COVID-19 Homeless Resources
NORTH HOLLYWOOD NAVIGATION CENTER
Drop In Services:
Monday to Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday 8 am to 1 pm
11839 Sherman Way North Hollywood, CA 91605
The Navigation Center offers a safe and dignified place for individuals experiencing homelessness to take care of everyday needs and access short-term services. Case managers are available to connect participants to community resources, free storage is offered and hygiene services are provided. For more information, visit www.hopeofthevalley.org or call (818) 392-0020.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD INTERFAITH FOOD PANTRY
Food Distribution Hours: Mondays and Fridays 7:30 am to 11:00 am
4390 Colfax Ave. Studio City, CA 91604
The North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry provides distribution of packaged and canned food, bread and cake, and sometimes fresh produce to those in need. Each bag provides enough food for several days. Please note for drive-thru cars must enter the Church parking lot via Colfax Avenue and follow the arrows. No ID is required. For more information, call (818) 760-3575.
The Alexandria facility will include 105 individual air-conditioned Tiny Homes, showers, restrooms, and a laundry facility. Services at the site will include three meals per day, social services, counseling, and housing navigators to help people get through the labyrinth of government programs required to gain placement in permanent housing. The goal is to provide the individualized services necessary to help each individual move to stable housing within six months.
The site will be patrolled by round-the-clock on-site security. All residents will be referred by experienced homeless services providers only; no walk-ins will be allowed. The surrounding neighborhoods will be provided enhanced sanitation services, with regularly scheduled comprehensive cleanings of public areas, and enhanced police patrol.
Van Nuys Bridge Housing
In early August, Councilmember Krekorian opened a new bridge housing site at 7702 Van Nuys Boulevard. It has beds for 100 individuals and includes storage space for residents, personal hygiene and laundry facilities and 24-hour security.
Raymer St. Bridge Housing
In early July 2020, the Raymer Street Bridge Housing site opened, first of its kind in the San Fernando Valley. The facility has 85 beds, shower and hygiene facilities, and is a critical part of the effort to get our unhoused neighbors into permanent housing, and a chance at a new life.
To take a tour of the facility in construction, visit Councilmember Krekorian's Instagram Stories here.
Project Room Key
This summer, a Project Room Key site opened at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City. The state-funded program secures temporary lodging for people experiencing homelessness who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because of age or underlying health conditions. Project Room Key takes those homeless individuals out of encampments, reducing the impacts on our neighborhoods, and giving them an opportunity for stability that can lead to services and more permanent housing opportunities.
Homeless Navigation Center
On the week of March 9, 2020, the new Homeless Navigation Center - first of its kind in the City of Los Angeles - opened for business in North Hollywood. Operated by Hope of the Valley, the Center includes 120 storage bins, five showers, five restrooms, and hygiene services. Staff will be on hand to assist people experiencing homelessness gain access to delivery serves and vital information. Councilmember Krekorian obtained funding from three sources, including voter-approved Measure HHH, to complete the facility. The Center represents a critical intermediate step in the effort to obtain permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness. View Channel 35 video coverage of the grand opening ceremonies here .
Councilman Introduces Motion Regarding LAHSA Funding
In December, Councilman Krekorian introduced a motion calling on The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to produce within 60 days a detailed account of its funding sources. Read the motion here.
Tackling the Crisis of Homelessness
Despite housing a record number of individuals this past year in Los Angeles, and providing unprecedented levels of services and funding, the crisis of the lack of affordable housing and income disparity are outpacing progress and pushing more vulnerable individuals and families on to the streets. The biggest driver of people falling into homelessness is economic hardships.
What the results of the homeless count do show is that we need to focus not only on providing services to the existing homeless population but also on finding more ways to prevent families from falling into homelessness in the first place without any hope of getting back out. We can do this by focusing on making housing more affordable, addressing rising rents, preventing evictions and creating more good jobs.
Most importantly, this outcome is not going to diminish our resolve to see this crisis to an end. Instead, we are going to do even more to stop this inflow and support our vulnerable neighbors with the help they need to get back on their feet.
The Faces of Homelessness
We also want to shed some light on the true face of homelessness. We have all heard some myths and misleading generalizations about the homeless population, most commonly that homeless people are all "mentally ill criminals," "drug addicts" and "people who moved to the area from out of state" to take advantage of LA's homeless services. This year's Homeless Count confirms that these statements are far from the truth:
- Homelessness is a homegrown issue. Four out of five homeless people lived in Los Angeles before becoming homeless. Seventy-five percent had been in LA for more than 10 years and only 12 percent had been here less than a year. Homeless children attend our children's schools. Homeless mothers and fathers work alongside us and live in our communities.
- Nearly half of those counted say they became homeless due to financial hardship. More than 2 million county residents pay more than 50 percent of their monthly income on housing while wages have failed to keep up with costs of living.
- Less than 27 percent of the homeless population suffers from some type of mental illness and only 15 percent are plagued by substance abuse. Los Angeles County is the government entity responsible for providing services to assist with these issues, which are being addressed with funding from Measure H, another voter mandate.
A significant percentage of homeless people have been victims of domestic violence.
- Twenty-seven percent of the population is white, while 47 percent is Latino and another 33 percent is African American.
- The homeless population is aging. There was an 8 percent increase in homeless individuals age 62 and older.
Homelessness in the Valley
Homelessness in the Valley
Homelessness has increased across the San Fernando Valley, including in Council District 2. This underscores the urgent need to bring more immediate housing solutions and services to the San Fernando Valley. The needs of Valley residents must be front and center and Councilmember Krekorian will continue to make sure that our region gets its fair share of funding for the resources and services our community needs most.
While families experiencing homelessness in the East Valley saw a decline, a growing number of our aging population and transitional youth between the ages of 18 and 24, many of whom who have aged out of the foster care system or fled unsafe homes, saw sharp increases. Victims of domestic violence also make up a significant segment of the population.
Although the Second District has only a small fraction of the city's homeless, 98 percent are living in tents and encampments in our neighborhoods because we do not have enough housing to accommodate them. This is putting a strain on our communities and our most vulnerable residents. Placing people into secure and monitored housing, where they get a bed, along with health, mental health, substance abuse, and job training services is the best way to begin turning things around.
In the city's budget, we’ve set aside more resources than ever before to build even more units of housing, and expanded supportive services to our neighborhoods and that keep streets and parks safe and clean.
This year, aided by funding from the voter-approved Measure HHH, city leaders budgeted $457 million in housing and services for the homeless this year -- the highest amount the city has ever dedicated to the issue. This includes $281 million to construct 2,126 new units of affordable and permanent supportive housing. The budget added $3 million in funding for eviction prevention and homeless prevention services. The fiscal plan also doubles the number of city crews dedicated to cleanups.
While there is progress, it is not enough. We must move faster and treat this crisis with greater urgency.
Bridging the Gap Between Streets and Homes
In 2020, CD2 inaugurated three major new additions to the local homeless delivery system.
At the end of February, the first homeless navigation center in the City of Los Angeles opened in North Hollywood. The facility has 120 storage bins, hygiene stations, shower facilities, and computers. During the pandemic, it has served as a critical gathering place for people experiencing homelessness seeking a healthy environment and access to permanent housing.
In early July, a bridge housing facility opened at Raymer in North Hollywood. The site, which features 85 beds, was filled to capacity within six weeks. It includes showers, storage facilities, and hygiene stations. It's operated by Hope of the Valley, which has staff available to assist residents as they seek to rebuild their lives.
One month later, a 100-bed bridge housing facility opened in the 7700 block of Van Nuys Boulevard. The facility, also operated by Hope of the Valley, is a critical part of the effort to reduce homelessness in the northeast Valley.
Safe Parking in Our Community
Councilmember Krekorian initiated one of the first Safe Parking Pilot Programs on city property in the City of Los Angeles. Under the program, the LA can use city lots or partners with places of worship and local businesses to designate overnight parking locations for the homeless; thus, removing these vehicles from neighborhoods and local streets. This program is another opportunity to give homeless people a safe place to sleep for the night and get connected with services.
Increasing Access to Supportive Housing
One of the biggest drivers of homelessness in Los Angeles is the lack of available affordable and supportive housing. The city is working to build more supportive and affordable housing by dedicating hundreds of millions of Measure HHH funds to this purpose. The City of Los Angeles is aggressively seeking proposals for the development of supportive housing for homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness throughout the City. Currently, there are 109 supportive housing projects in the pipeline, 79 of which are Measure HHH proposals that will provide a total of 5,388 units.
In Council District 2, the Crest Apartments in Van Nuys is a great example of permanent supportive housing in our community that is helping increase access to housing. Recently, the City Planning Commission approved 103 new units of affordable housing, Sun Commons. The proposed project, located in North Hollywood, will provide new low-income, permanent supportive housing for previously homeless families and at-risk youth transitioning out of foster care. And we’re seeking more proposals.
To view the city's progress on supportive housing, visit hcidla.lacity.org/hhh-progress.
Banning Barriers to Housing
Another available tool in the fight to end homelessness is increasing the effectiveness of the federally funded Housing Choice Voucher Program, more commonly known as Section 8. Section 8 is a tool that cities use to help very low-income residents get quality, affordable housing, which helps keep them from falling into homelessness. But in Los Angeles alone, there are more than 2,700 Section 8 voucher holders who can't find a single unit to rent.
What's frustrating is that there are units available that don't get rented to voucher holders. Part of the problem is the pernicious stigma associated with Section 8 among some landlords. As a result, Angelenos in need wait years on a list to get approved for a voucher only to have the voucher expire before they can use it because they cannot find an apartment owned by a landlord willing to rent to them.
This is an issue Councilmember Krekorian believes can be fixed. That’s why he authored new legislation that outlaws discrimination against Section 8 holders in the city of Los Angeles and to find additional ways to increase the acceptance of the vouchers.
Read the LA Times article on my legislation: www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-section-8-ordinance-20190417-story.html
Rent Stabilization and Protecting Residents from Evictions
LA’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance protects tenants from excessive rent increases, while at the same time allowing landlords to increase rent each year by a fair amount. Tenants and landlord can learn more about what is covered under the city’s ordinance by accessing workshops hosted by the Housing and Community Investment Department. The ordinance regulates rent increases and evictions.
This year in the budget, we added $3 million in funding for eviction prevention and homeless prevention services.
Visit hcidla.lacity.org/What-is-Covered-under-the-RSO for more information about rent stabilization and evictions.
Providing Services Through Community Partnerships
We’re regularly connecting members of our homeless community with services through Homeless Connect Days. Councilmember Krekorian started this event nearly ten years ago, creating a one-stop-shop with service providers, government agency providers, and nonprofits to work together with our unsheltered and vulnerable community to provide resources and service, including health and vision screenings, haircuts, showers, case management, and other supportive services. The program now serves as a model for the rest of the city and county.
Council District 2 office is also working closely with local organizations and neighborhood councils to help neighbors in need.
The colossal task of end homelessness cannot be done without fundamental changes to more of our state and national policies that have been drivers of income inequality, created obstacles to housing and burdened everyday Americans.
In order for us to change this situation and get homeless people off the streets, we need your support. We need you to carry a positive message in conversations with your neighbors, co-workers and fellow business owners to convince them that it is in their interests to support the city's initiatives to end homelessness.
We will keep you updated on the actions we're taking to combat homelessness.
This month, I launched a new program in the East Valley to beautify our neighborhoods and help our neighbors experiencing homelessness get a fresh start, called Clean Streets Clean Starts.Read more