Bridge Housing for Homeless Women

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 3251, a measure that authorizes the sale of the Sylmar National Guard Armory, which would allow the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LSHSA) to purchase the armory in order to use it for bridge housing for women experiencing homelessness.

“Converting the Sylmar Armory into a 24-hour resource center will give women experiencing homelessness an opportunity to get back on their feet while providing them with a safe environment, as they look for permanent housing options,” said Bloom. “The goal of the armory is to assist these high-need individuals with resources necessary to get back into a home – something every human being needs.”

In 2018, the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count recorded 52,765 people experiencing homelessness in the County of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Housing Service Authority (LAHSA) identified a need for more than 2,000 new emergency shelter beds throughout the county. The Sylmar National Guard Armory is located in the San Fernando Valley and has operated as a seasonal winter shelter for the past 20 years. During these winter months, the shelter has been operating at capacity, demonstrating the demand for increased capacity in the region.

Recognizing the urgency for an increased housing to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors began exploring the feasibility of turning all of the winter shelters sites throughout LA County into year-round emergency shelters. After the passage of Measure H to fund housing for homeless residents in LA County, LAHSA reported back to the Board of Supervisors that it was feasible to renovate and convert the Sylmar Armory into a year-round shelter.

LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office played an integral role collaborating with stakeholders and community members in shaping this proposal. “As Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, I want to thank the Legislature for passing AB 3251 and the Governor for signing it into law. AB 3251 provides a great boost to vulnerable women experiencing homelessness by helping them access bridge housing and services at the Sylmar Armor, “said Supervisor Kuehl.

Armories have been used as temporary homeless shelters during the winter months because they are already equipped to handle shelter situations and are available throughout the state. The Sylmar Armory represents a unique opportunity to transform the military facility into a 24-hour a day/7 days a week shelter where individuals will receive more than a bed for the night.

Bridge Housing is 24-hour dormitory-style living quarter that provides people with the necessary services they need while they look for and transition into permanent housing. Intensive case management, housing locaters, and employment specialists will be available onsite to assist individuals while they quickly move into permanent housing.

“In California, we are experiencing historically high housing costs and in those urban areas with the highest housing costs, we are also experiencing our highest numbers of homelessness. As homelessness continues to increase, collaboration between residents, the business community, advocates, and service providers will be vital to providing bridge and supportive housing. This project exemplifies that kind of collaboration,” added Bloom.

 

Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.