A seasonal shelter program will open Saturday, Dec. 1 to give homeless people on the Westside a reprieve from winter conditions and, for the first time, will offer supportive services.
While the Westside has no year-round emergency shelter beds, a winter shelter program has been provided annually at the West Los Angeles Armory, offering 160 beds.
The shelter will utilize a pick up and drop off location at the Los Angeles Police Department substation in Venice Beach, 1530 Ocean Front Walk. The bus will pick up between 4:30 and 6 p.m. and will return the following morning at 7:30.
The program, managed by First to Serve, is offering new services this winter, including two on-site case managers who will assist the clients in transitioning to permanent supportive housing, help with job placement, and offer medical services and healthcare resources, according to City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office.
“I’ve pushed for supportive services for the homeless for years,” said Rosendahl. “I’m thrilled that shelter clients will finally get the quality services that they need, while at the same time I remain optimistic that those who want the help will take advantage of this opportunity.”
Last year, Rosendahl and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa assisted in the effort to open a temporary emergency shelter six weeks prior to the winter program in response to an unusually large number of homeless people sleeping outside in the Venice and Westchester areas. An extra shelter, as well as an additional pick up/drop off location, were added to provide relief.
Rosendahl explained that those extra services were not needed this year thanks to a joint city-county effort that provided additional supportive services at places like Westchester Park.
Those interested in taking part in the winter shelter program are requested to go to the Venice Beach pick up location, as the Armory does not take walk-up clients.
The shelter program will be held through March 1.