Charlene Dimas-Peinado and staff and residents of Thev Nest with Mayor Eric Garcetti. (courtesy image)

In August, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti paid a surprise visit to the residents of The Nest on Florence—David & Susan Hirsch Building, the first permanent supportive housing project for young adults at risk of chronic homelessness for Wellnest.

The Nest on Florence, is a 5-story, 40,848-square foot building that features 34 studios, 16 one-bedroom units, and one two-bedroom manager-in-residence apartment. Each of the units is fully furnished providing a warm and welcoming space.

“Wellnest is setting the stage for young adults ages 18-25 to become resilient and self-sufficient members of our community,” said Charlene Dimas-Peinado, President and CEO of Wellnest, “with the plethora of resources that are available to them as they find quality housing in The Nest.

Mayor Garcetti and Deidre Lind, President and CEO of Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, presented each resident at The Nest with a $250 pre-loaded Angeleno Card. A direct cash assistance to help the young people get a strong start with their new home.

“The next generation of business owners, political and community leaders is already here – and it’s our responsibility to empower them with the resources they need to succeed,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Thanks to the Nest for serving our most vulnerable young Angelenos with dignity, respect, and the opportunity to get back on their feet.”

Mayor Garcetti learned first hand the challenges many of the young people faced before calling the Nest their home. Some of the young people were previously homeless or at risk of being homeless and they have found a community of support and trust.

This project is a testament of the need for more affordable and permanent supportive housing. Measure HHH has helped to put many projects like these in the pipeline to address homelessness, but more is needed. The Nest on Florence has been designed to provide a sense of community, with a lobby, community recreation area, offices for property management and support services staff, on-site laundry facilities, secure bike parking, and an outdoor common area. Residents also can access health and wellbeing support and life skills training, as well as education and employment assistance.

Dominic, one of the residents commented, “having the Mayor really show up, made me feel really important as if people in high places respect me and show up to support me, in my safe place, I now call the Nest”. Dominic began receiving housing and Mental health services with Wellnest when he has 18 years old in the Independent Living program for two years preparing for Permanent Supporting Housing.

In addition to receiving the Angeleno Card, residents at the Nest received information from the City of Los Angeles programs that support students and the local workforce. Residents learned about LA College Promise, a program that offers free tuition for two year, priority enrollment and dedicated academic student support. Additionally, residents were encouraged to participate in HireLAX to pursue a career in construction careers.

Wellnest is providing the foundation for a successful future for all residents and program participants with a client centered approach that meets clients where they are. The Nest will serve as an example of the opportunities that can be created for residents who want to succeed with a little support from community service organizations and their local government.

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