LOS ANGELES - Today, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky unveiled plans for a new interim housing project on L.A.’s Westside. Located on an underutilized city-owned parking lot at the intersection of Pico Blvd. and Midvale Ave, the project will add desperately needed interim beds to the Fifth Council District’s homeless housing supply. When Councilmember Yaroslavsky took office, there were fewer than 100 interim housing units available for the district’s 1,300 unhoused individuals.
“Anyone who has walked or driven on the Westside can tell you that the increase in the number of people living in tents is alarming,” said Councilwoman Yaroslavsky. “We cannot keep waiting for the problem to solve itself – we need real solutions that we know work, and we need them quickly. While thousands of units of permanent housing are being constructed across the City, no interim units are in the pipeline in Council District 5. We need interim solutions now that we know will work.”
In the last decade, homelessness in Los Angeles has more than doubled, with more than 46,000 Angelenos lacking a stable and secure place to sleep on a given night. Over 70% of those individuals and families are unsheltered, meaning they are sleeping in tents, parks, on sidewalks and in cars, because of the city’s ongoing lack of both interim and permanent housing.
"It is imperative that we have housing solutions in every area of the city, which is why I am pleased to support Councilwoman Yarolavsky’s initiative to add much needed interim housing on L.A.’s Westside. While permanent housing is always the goal to house Angelenos living on our streets, we must continue to bring people inside to confront the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles and to prevent 5 people from dying on our streets every day. I applaud Councilwoman Yaroslavsky’s effort to bring much needed interim housing to her district," said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.
The goal of the project is to act as a link between street homelessness and permanent housing, with a team of mental health and substance use disorder specialists, permanent housing navigation support, and employment assistance to aid people in re-establishing stable lives. Participants will be provided with ensuite bathrooms, storage and laundry facilities, and three meals per day. The project is designed to serve adults currently residing on the streets in neighborhoods near the facility.
The project will be constructed by LifeArk, a Los Angeles-based company that creates innovative, high-quality modular structures. The unique design of its prefabricated structures allows the project to be built extremely quickly, with construction estimated to take just a few months.
“LifeArk is honored to partner with Council District 5 and LA Family Housing to bring an innovative housing solution to the Westside providing safe, dignified homes for those transitioning out of homelessness,” said Charles Wee, Founder and CEO of LifeArk.
Once opened, operations will be led by LA Family Housing, a national leader in helping people transition out of homelessness and poverty. In its dual role as a homeless service provider and affordable housing developer, LA Family Housing delivers well-managed housing enriched with a suite of supportive services that enable people to transition out of homelessness and regain personal stability long-term.
“LA Family Housing is excited to expand our work into Council District 5 by providing supportive services to those transitioning out of homelessness at 2377 Midvale," said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, President and CEO of LA Family Housing. "We are proud to collaborate with Councilwoman Yaroslavsky, LifeArk, and the community surrounding this project on LA's Westside to provide more housing and resources to those most in need in the city.”
The project will include 24/7 on-stie security services to create a safe environment for participants of the project as well as the surrounding community, while helping bring more Angelenos off the street. The project is expected to break ground before the end of this year and open by 2024.