Hats off to members of NGA Hancock Park, who did their part to help city officials open a new bridge housing center for transitional-aged women and their children by stocking the house with linens and other supplies for the new residents in advance of today’s official opening.
“It’s a good day in LA!” said Brookside resident Beverly Castaldo Brown, President of NGA Hancock Park. “After tons of shopping for bedding, pillows, rugs, robes, throws, bathroom caddies and toiletries, the NGA Hancock women worked to set up Wallis House, an Aviva project, which will house women aged 18 to 24 and their children.”
“This was such a feel good story,” Brown told the Buzz. “It’s time to get families off the streets and into housing! The young women and children who are housed there will not be disappointed. This converted old mansion in Hollywood is way nicer than most of the college dorms I’ve seen.”
Wallis House was officially opened today by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember David Ryu, and leaders from Aviva Family and Children’s Services who are operating the center. Located on the corner of Camino Palermo Street & Hollywood Boulevard, Wallis House is operated by Aviva and will provide private units of housing to women experiencing homelessness between the ages of 18 and 24 and their children, as well as wraparound services of mental healthcare, job training, and life skills.
“Homelessness is a crisis in every neighborhood and among every community, but some are more vulnerable to homelessness than others,” Councilmember Ryu said in a press statement released by his office today. “Young single mothers face high barriers to making ends meet, and are at a far greater risk of harm when living on the street. We need housing and services that meet their specific needs. With 42 private units, job training and wraparound services, Wallis House is the perfect place to support these young families.”
“A Bridge Home sites across Los Angeles are getting our homelessness neighbors off the streets and into housing,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The opening of Wallis House is another milestone in this work and will connect transitional-aged women and their children with the housing, healing, and hope they urgently need and deserve.”
“You don’t get to be a 104-year-old organization without being responsive to the community. Today, thanks to dedicated City and County leaders, supporters and volunteers, Aviva is poised to help with one of the greatest challenges facing our region – homelessness,” said Genevieve Haines, Chair of Aviva Family and Children’s Services Board of Directors. “Getting Wallis House ready for today’s ‘housewarming’ was just the beginning. We welcome the community to join us for the next chapter, as we help house and heal our neighbors experiencing homelessness.”
“The Aviva Family and Children’s Services Board of Directors, employees and supporters are excited to join our City and County in the fight to eliminate homelessness in Los Angeles. We have a beautiful home, expertise in working with families and youth, and a passion for ensuring that every child has the chance to develop to their full potential and have a brighter future,” said Regina Bette, President & CEO of Aviva Family and Children’s Services. “We thank Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Ryu and Supervisor Kuehl for their encouragement and support so that we can do this critical work in our community.”
With 42 beds, Wallis House, a historic property in Hollywood, will welcome 15 families, starting today. These young women will transition out of homelessness and into independent living with housing, food, clothing, mental health resources and life skills training. The house includes a gym, play area for kids, boutique and salon where residents can learn cosmetology, sewing and retail skills. As a permanent bridge housing project, Wallis House will help many more women and their children over its lifetime. The project was funded with $2.36 Million from the City under the Homeless Emergency Assistance Program (HEAP) funds. Residents and their families will live at the house for up to two years as they move to more permanent housing.
Wallis House is one of six homeless housing projects currently open, under construction, or under review in Council District Four. It joins the 100-bed emergency shelter at the LGBT Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus in Council District Four, which opened in April of this year, and the 30-bed Women’s Bridge Housing Center on Gardner Street, which opened in September of this year. In total, 172 new beds & units of homeless housing have come online in Council District Four since the start of 2019, with another 342 under construction or in development.