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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

First Bridge Housing to Open Soon — El Pueblo

panoramic

“Bridge” housing for the El Pueblo consists of modular structures that look like trailers and as one can see they are sandwiched on a former parking lot between the freeway and an onramp.

El Pueblo, the first of the “Bridge Housing” projects, will open in 4 to 6 weeks. It will house 45 homeless, providing a “bridge” from the streets of Los Angeles to a permanent apartment.

In April, 2018, Mayor Garcetti and the City Council declared an emergency shelter crisis and took advantage of a new state law that enabled cities to construct homeless shelters on any land owned or leased by the city.

Each District
Each of the 15 Los Angeles Council Districts plans to have a “Bridge Home, Bridge Housing,” both terms are used synonymously.. Each district is in a different stage of start up.

681 Vermont

This is the Koreatown 65-car parking lot at 681 Vermont.

Koreatown, which has become very controversial, is looking at two lots, one at 681 Vermont and another at 923 – 937 Kenmore Ave, both of which are in close proximity to each other. Vermont is a 65-space parking lot. Kenmore consists of buildings. Koreatown is in President Herb Wesson’s 10th Council District.

Councilman Mike Bonin of the 11th Council District has selected two sites, one on the West LA campus of the Veteran’s Affairs and the other at the former Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in Venice. Both sites are in the process of being evaluated.

The MTA site is near and would consequently serve the Ocean Front Walk and the 3rd Ave encampments first. The site was the former bus yard and is over three acres. It is about to have its buildings demolished. The MTA plan is to start to build housing within three years. So the site is available for this bridge program for three years.

The site search continues.  The LA City Council recent Homeless and Poverty committee reported the following: Council District 15 is looking at three sites at 2316 East Imperial Highway; 828 Eubank Avenue; and 515 North Beacon Street. Council District 8 is looking at 5965, 5971 and 5975 South St. Andrews Place. Council District 5 is looking at 7951 Beverly Boulevard to see if it is suitable and could be available for use as emergency shelter as part of the a Bridge Home Program.

Bridge Housing Should Accomplish
The bridge housing program is designed to last for three years and that is true for all the districts, The sites are suppose to be close to areas with encampments.
According to Mayor Eric Garcetti, hopefully, this program will allow many of these people to be off the streets of Los Angeles into homes, before the planned Measure HHH permanent housing will be ready.

It was hoped that each council district would be able to accommodate 100 in its ‘Bridge Housing” program. It is planned that some homeless will be there for a week, a month, others three to four months, and some longer before permanent housing is found. When one gets housing, another will be placed in the bridge housing. This project, operating for a period of three years throughout Los Angeles, would put a large dent in the number of homeless on the streets. It is estimated that it will take three years before Measure HHH shows any units available for the homeless.

In general The sites are to accommodate couples, animals, and storage.

El Pueblo Site
Right now the El Pueblo site’s five modular structures are well positioned on a triangular 7400-square-foot, former parking lot in the heart of Los Angeles downtown freeway system, next to Olivera Street. Three of the modulars will house the formerly homeless — two for 30 men and one for 15 women. All the modulars are 24 x 60 excerpt the restroom/laundry modular, which is 24 by 50. There is one for the case management group.

modular structures

To the right are two resident modulars. To the left is the bathroom/laundry. In the middle is another resident modular. To the far left is part of the office modular. The forums in the middle are part of the decking structure.

Because of lot’s elevation differences, it was decided to link the five modulars with a raised wood deck allowing residents to walk from one modular to the other without walking down steps and eliminating all of the different elevations. It is a costly $700,000 plus deck that’s price keeps going higher. One worker said the deck, when finished, probably could be driven on by a car, because of its sturdy construction.

But the deck will be used as a community meeting place and make the facility more attractive.

The office modular is for the offices of the assisting workers. The non-profit, The People Concern, who are experienced with homeless service outreach, will oversee the program. These people are case managers, who help these people and who will also help them obtain permanent housing.

The LA Times ran an editorial regarding the costs for this “first” program. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-homeless-shelter-budget-20180727-story.html It is not the purpose of this article to discuss the costs.

Rick Coca, communications director for Councilman Jose Huizar, said of the El Pueblo project “Our office is partnering with the Mayor on this. It is separate from the $20 million the Mayor and Council dedicated for the ones to follow.

“The next thing we have to do, and Councilmember Bonin has said this too, added Coca, is to get as many people as we can immediate assistance to get them off of the streets, out of tents and into the short-term, bridge housing to put them on the path to those long-term solutions.”

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