Earlier this week, we wrote about the need for volunteers for the annual homeless count in our area on January 23. Since then, we’ve heard about a few more homeless-related developments and events that are worth passing along.
First HHH development opens
The LA Times reported on Tuesday the good news that the first supportive housing project built with funds from Prop HHH, approved by voters in 2016, finally opened this week in south LA. The less good news, of course, is that this is just a drop in the bucket – providing just 26 units when tens of thousands are needed. Looking on the positive side, though, the Times also reported that there are many more units in the pipeline:
“…the 112 projects funded by Proposition HHH will produce 7,484 units, of which 5,773 will come with services for chronically homeless people, veterans and young adults. Another 1,587 units will be reserved for low-income tenants.”
Tammy Rosato, homelessness liaison for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, told the Buzz this week: “You may have noticed as I have that people experiencing homelessness are much more visible in our community, especially on Wilshire Blvd. and in front of vacant buildings. I sincerely hope that with the opening of HHH projects this year, they will serve as a viable solution for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
For a bit more good/bad news, the good news is that the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has opened special winter shelters around the city, to help people get off the streets in inclement weather. The less good news is that there are only two such shelters in LAHSA’s Service Planning Area 4, which includes our Greater Wilshire neighborhoods and many other high-needs areas. One of the shelters is in Hollywood, and the other is downtown. (This is one reason the upcoming Homeless Count is so important – the more unhoused people the city knows about in our area, the more dollars and resources will be allocated to help nearby). If you know someone in our area who needs shelter right now, however, this is one resource.
David Ryu Collections for the Homeless
City Council Member David Ryu announced this week that his staff is collecting clothes and other supplies for the homless at both his Hollywood and Sherman Oaks field offices. As Ryu said in a statement to the community:
“Homelessness is an emergency, and I’m working to address it from all sides. I’ve turned my field offices into homeless donation drop-off centers – bring in any of these items and we’ll make sure it gets to folks experiencing homelessness in our community. We’ve already donated dozens of boxes filled with warm clothes, blankets, food, and school supplies to organizations that support homeless youth and adults, and we’re ready for more.”
Street Life Photo Show
iPhone photography artist David Livingston will be holding a reception for his new show, Still Lives, featuring views of LA street life, from 5-9 p.m. today, Saturday, January 11, at 2699 1/2 Beachwood Dr. The artist is partnering with the Hollywood Food Coalition to accept donations of non-perishable food and hygiene items, clothes, blankets, coats, etc., at the event. There will be munchies and drinks available for attendees; parking is on the street.
Curbed LA’s List of “7 Ways to Help the Homeless in Los Angeles”
Archtitecture blog Curbed LA ran a great list of “7 Ways to Help the Homeless in Los Angeles” in November. It’s still very current, and we think it’s well worth passing along. The tips include ways to volunteer, donate, get educated about the issue, advocate…and, yes, even build housing (in the form of affordable ADUs) on your own property.
“You Can Just Ask”
And finally, the LA Times took a different approach today, suggesting that readers simply ask people on the streets in their communities what they need, and then try to provide it. You might be suprised at some of the answers writer Nita Lelyveld received. (Yes to socks, blankets and ingredients for cooking…but no to Clif Bars, large trays of leftovers and items containing crunchy peanuts.)
The housing and homeless crisis may be the single most important issue facing our city at the moment. But there are ways we all can help. And we’ll do our best to keep our readers informed.
[This story was updated after publication to add the reference to today’s LA Times story.]