On Wednesday, the L.A. City Council extended for a month the winter shelter program for the homeless — meaning that eight temporary shelters will stay open until the end of March.
The L.A. Homeless Services Authority, which runs the program that began Dec. 1, advised the council that the shelters should remain open for an extended time owing to this winter’s heavy rains.
The program costs $1.85 million in Emergency Shelter Grant funding and about $297,000 in general funds. The council motion extending the program said that “as a result of savings, no additional funding is necessary for the extension.”
On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to extend the county’s overall winter shelter program for an additional month, to March 31, and a motion was introduced to explore converting the National Guard armory in Sylmar to a full-time homeless shelter. The armory is currently being used for the city’s winter shelter program. Because a second location in the San Fernando Valley was being removed from the extension program, Councilman Paul Krekorian noted that the armory would be the only winter homeless shelter in that region.
“The Sylmar armory is the only winter shelter in the entire San Fernando Valley, a population of two million people and one of the highest rates of increase of homelessness in the entire county, and there is one winter shelter that is operating right now. So I urge that we go forward with this motion,” Krekorian said.
The extension, which was approved on a 12-0 vote, will also provide an additional 10 days of round-the-clock operations, as needed, during inclement weather.
The eight temporary shelters that will remain open are:
— Testimonial Community Love Center at 5701 and 5615 S. Western Ave.
— Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission at 12860 Arroyo St.
— Bethel Los Angeles CDC at 7900 S. Western Ave. and 5500 S. Hoover St.
— First to Serve, Inc at 1300 Federal Ave.
— First to Serve, Inc. 1177 W. 25th St.
— Weingart Center Association at 566 San Pedro St.
— Ascencia (with Recycled Resources) at 5619 Monte Vista St.
— SSG (with Home At Last) at 2514 W. Vernon Ave.