Late last week, City employees worked tirelessly setting up emergency shelters to house people living on the streets during the COVID-19 crisis. By Friday evening, the shelter at the North Hollywood Recreation Center was ready to receive occupants.
I have visited the City staff at the site several times and have observed their caring and selfless work, as well as that of Hope of the Valley, which recently began operating the facility. Within two days, the shelter had reached capacity - 36 beds - and it has stayed at or near that number ever since.
This emergency shelter is providing an opportunity for 36 people who had been living on the streets to sleep instead under a roof, to get a health screening, to take a shower and have decent meals. This gives them a much better chance of staying healthy and helps prevent spread of the virus. At the same time, it helps stabilize the residents' situation and affords an opportunity for outreach and more sustainable housing.
When this crisis has passed, and its story is told, we should all remember the incredible response of the City employees, non-profit agencies, health care providers, volunteers and local businesses and community members who stepped up and came to the aid of the vulnerable and the needy in our City.