Upward Bound House in Santa Monica has received approval from the City Council of Culver City to move forward with a project to convert a motel on Washington Boulevard in Culver City into an emergency shelter for homeless families with children.

The City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday, January 15th, to uphold the Culver City Planning Commission recommendation to approve Upward Bound House’s plans to purchase and convert the SunBay Motel into emergency housing. The motel is at 12841 Washington Blvd. in a narrow strip of Culver City that lies between the Mar Vista and Del Rey communities of Los Angeles.

Upward Bound House is a community-based nonprofit social service agency that provides affordable housing for homeless families with children and very-low-income seniors.

The new facility — said to be the only one on the Westside for homeless families with children — will be a vital resource for the growing number of families in crisis in the region, according to Upward Bound House.

“This is an important step in the right direction,” said David Snow, Upward Bound House executive director.

“Every night in Los Angeles County, there are more than 10,000 homeless children, many living in conditions unfit for human habitation,” he said.

Each year, the facility assists some 200 individuals, including over 125 children, according to the agency. In addition to providing housing, the proposed project will feature intensive case management.

“Families will be required to meet with their case managers on a daily basis,” said Tracy Woodburry, the agency’s program director. “Our goal is to get families stabilized and into permanent housing as quickly as possible.”

The program is based on the agency’s successful Family Place program based in Santa Monica, and will include a Housing First component, said a spokesman.

Safety and security are primary considerations for the project, both for the community and for the families that will be sheltered, agency officials said. Security upgrades will include perim-eter fencing, a sophisticated security camera system and staff which will be on-site at all times.

In addition, the project will include significant upgrades to the beautification of the building, including the removal of the motel signage, painting and new landscaping.

“The agency is committed to partnering with the community,” said Snow. “We look forward to working with our neighbors, city leaders, and regional partners to ensure the success of this program.

“Homelessness is everyone’s challenge.”

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