Federal government gives county green light to proceed with bridge housing facility
By Sam Catanzaro
A proposed homeless shelter at the West LA National Guard Armory on Federal Avenue recently cleared a major legislative hurdle after President Trump signed a new bill into law.
On December 20, President Trump signed into law the $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act. In this bill was language that modifies the deed at the West LA Armory to allow a shelter to operate at the property year-round. Currently, a winter shelter is run out of the armory that does not provide 24 hour service and care. With the creation of a year-round shelter, officials say more individuals will have access to case management services and will not be forced to leave the facilities during the day.
According to Stephanie Cohen of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office speaking at the January 8 Brentwood Community Council meeting, renderings for the shelter are expected mid-2020.
The effort to build a shelter at the armory was spearheaded by Representative Ted Lieu (CA-33) who represents Brentwood. According to Lieu, the County plans to construct a shelter that will provide 24/7 housing with intensive case management services including mental health and physical health services.
“Homelessness is a pressing concern in my district and throughout Southern California,” Lieu said. “The Armory’s newly planned year-round shelter will give more people access to temporary housing and social services.
According to county officials, the shelter – to be located in the northeast parking lot – will be accessible for homeless individuals in West Los Angeles or surrounding neighborhoods and will have a low barrier to entry. The program will have a housing-first model. There will be no walk-ins accepted.