Winter Shelter Program for homeless in Los Angeles begins
OW Staff | 12/5/2012, 5 p.m.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) will operate the 2012-2013 Winter Shelter Program between Nov. 1, 2012, and March 14, 2013. The majority of shelters opened Dec. 1 and will end March 1, while the remaining sites will be open from Dec. 14 to March 14, and Nov. 1 to Jan. 30.
The program will provide 1,491 beds at 19 sites in 15 cities and communities throughout the city and county of Los Angeles.
The Winter Shelter Program is instituted yearly during the coldest and wettest months. It is funded by the city and county of Los Angeles, and supported by the California National Guard, which provides shelter sites at several armories. Nonprofit homeless service agencies contracted by LAHSA manage each program site. The sites offer persons experiencing homelessness with temporary overnight shelter, meals and help connecting to supportive services and stable housing.
For this winter season, the shelters are being administered by the following service providers: Grace Resource Center (contracted by the city of Lancaster), East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless, Volunteers of America of Los Angeles, Ascencia, Long Beach Rescue Mission, MJB Recovery, First to Serve, the Salvation Army Bell Shelter, LAMP Community Inc., Bridge to Home, and Eula's House (contracted by Volunteers of America of Los Angeles). These agencies will operate sites in Lancaster, Sylmar, Santa Clarita, Pomona, West Covina, Glendora, Hacienda Heights, Valinda, Rowland Heights, Glendale, Long Beach, Bell, Downtown Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, and South Los Angeles. LAMP Community Inc. operates a pilot program to specifically target chronically homeless individuals in the downtown Los Angeles area.
Admission to the shelters is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for single individuals. Persons needing emergency shelter can get free transportation to and from the shelter locations from any of the designated pick-up points throughout the Los Angeles city and county.
Families seeking assistance at winter shelter locations will be connected to 2-1-1, the county's free information and referral line, or may call 2-1-1 directly. Specially trained 2-1-1 operators will offer families appropriate shelter and supportive service linkages as part of LAHSA's Family Transitions Project.
Launched last winter, the Family Transitions Project is designed to rapidly connect homeless families to regional nonprofit agencies that specialize in delivering housing assistance and supportive services. Last year the project placed 584 families into housing, with 177 of them entering permanent housing.
Building on the lessons learned and positive outcomes, the project allowed LAHSA to develop a new initiative called the Family Solutions Center program, which is set to begin in February 2013. It will consist of six regional community partnerships (or collaborative "centers") that include nonprofit, private and public entities. The centers will provide coordinated assessments, housing and supportive services to families year-round, as well as during the cold-weather season.
A complete listing of shelters with their specific start and end dates, and pick-up points is available under the Get Help section of LAHSA's website at www.lahsa.org, or by calling the Winter Shelter hot line at (800) 548-6047.