It was a great day to have hope in Los Angeles as Councilman Curren Price, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Supervisor Hilda Solis celebrated the completion of the first Bridge Home in District 9.
Coining the term, “Bringing Hope to Hope Street,” many gathered on March 5, to support the new temporary housing unit located on 2817 S. Hope Street. This specific location will now be the twelfth to open in LA as part of the city’s homeless shelter program.
The new shelter will house 100 homeless men and women from the community and help them transition into permanent supportive housing. Volunteers of America has also lent their assistance to the project, offering onsite case management, aid with finding their next step in housing and more.
“We couldn’t cross the finish line without the collaboration, the unique leverage between the city and the county,” Councilman Price said. Through the collaboration, the latest Bridge Home project that was formerly a parking lot for the H. Claude Hudson Comprehensive Health Center is now County-owned property, which the County agreed to lease to the City of Los Angeles at no cost.
“This is not the end-all it’s just a step. But it’s an important step getting people off the corners off the streets, out of their cars,” he continued.
Recalling several homeless LA residents, Councilman Price describes the job and fulfillment this temporary housing will bring, “The burden was obviously heavy on their shoulders, and it’s going to take time so it takes some patience. It’s going to take a lot of love, but we are determined to help them feel whole again.”
“They’re looking forward to putting their past behind them and receiving the services that they need to get back on their feet, but one thing is for certain they found hope on Hope Street.”
Mayor Garcetti also shared a word with those in celebration, “A few years ago, were housing half as many people a day. Today it’s 133 Angelenos coming off the streets, thanks to the amazing organizations.” Referring to the Councilman’s story of a man who spent 20 years on the streets, “This didn’t happen overnight my friends, but overnight it can change for somebody.”
“Angelenos are coming together to confront the homelessness crisis by providing housing, healing and hope,” Mayor Garcetti said in a statement. “The opening of ‘Bringing Hope to Hope Street’ is the latest reminder that we are deploying resources and forging partnerships to bring our unhoused neighbors indoors now.”
“You know, for me, it was a no brainer,” Supervisor Solis stated, “When I heard that we could start using parking lots and space that we had, I immediately thought, here’s this acreage that we have and want to repurpose, but meanwhile why can’t we use that parking space here?”
“This couple of acres that won’t just be a parking spot, but help people park for a short time in their life while they get their life back together.”
Supervisor Solis full of excitement shared positive messages and wishes over the next few years, “Hope has come here today and it will remain here for three years.”
As it is a temporary solution, the Bridge Home is set to remain in the once vacant parking lot for the next three years providing an array of services, giving those without a place to build, feel respect and dignity and well-deserved human rights.
“We have many, many things that we want to be doing. This is just one of many collaborative partnerships that we’re going to be working with the city on, and I’m very excited,” she said.
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center will also provide and serve as the medical home for the residents of the Bridge Home. In collaboration with the various forces and organizations, they will offer a full range of medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmacy services through its mobile clinic or at the 18 sites in South LA.
“It’s really key that everyone’s all in fighting homelessness,” Jim Mangia, President and CEO of St. Johns Well Child and Family Center stated. “We believe that health is a human right. Housing is a human right. We have to band together and fight to tackle this problem as we are today.”