Saturday’s Los Angeles Times had article stating that Councilmen Mike Bonin and Jose Huizar want to extend the recently expired declaration of winter shelter crisis to the full year in order to keep shelters open year round rather than just the winter months. This will go to the Homeless Committee before the full City Council.
This year all shelters stayed open an additional month because of the rain. This motion does not just open shelters year round but the “declaration of a crisis” would:
1) allow shelters to be opened as a matter of right on property owned or leased by the City in any zone (not residential) without regard to the number of beds or people served.
2) identify specific zones in commercial and industrial (not residential) areas where shelters could be opened by right on non-government land
The shelter that Venice uses is in SPA 5 called First to Serve and is located at the West LA National Guard Armory, 1300 Federal Ave. It has a capacity for 160 beds. Note that the chart for this shelter shows it had an average of 71 percent occupancy during the four months from December to end of March. There were only seven days when shelter was operated over capacity.
This year all the shelters extended their closing time to 31 March because of the rain. Normally, the winter shelters in Los Angeles are open from 1 December to 1 March, 7 days a week from 5 pm to 7 am. Shelters are strict about the hours. There are bus pickup points throughout Los Angeles for people to go to the shelters and people may walk in but they must abide by the hours listed. Buses also return people to the pickup point.
Occupants are allowed to take a shower and have an evening meal and a snack in the morning as well as be given hygiene and self-care kits. They are provided with TB screening/testing, have access to case management, resource referral and connection to other services.
The chart below is taken the LAHSA public information regarding the winter shelters. See https://public.tableau.com/views/2016-2017WSPOccupancyDashboard/WSPOccupancy?:embed=y&:loadOrderID=0&:display_count=yes for further definition.