LA Downtowner: For the last 25 years, the Skid Row Housing Trust (SRHT) has been committed to converting SRO’s (single resident occupancy) and otherwise dilapidated hotels into high quality apartments for Downtown’s homeless. Their ‘Housing First’ philosophy sees providing housing as the first step in ending the homelessness cycle.
Haniff is celebrating the start of a new career this Thanksgiving. Four years ago, Haniff’s life was ripped apart when his mother suddenly passed away. In between jobs, the death of his mother triggered a period of depression that rendered him unable to seek new employment. Haniff, a longtime resident of South Los Angeles, started sleeping on friend’s couches when money ran out, and eventually he turned to shelters on Skid Row. Haniff struggled to treat high blood pressure and kidney disease without the stability of a permanent home, and his health declined as he lost hope for the future.
Last year the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services referred Haniff to Skid Row Housing Trust’s Star Apartments, moving him into permanent supportive housing designed for people living with chronic health conditions. With both a medical clinic and a wellness center on site, the Star Apartments was a sanctuary where Haniff could heal.
With the foundation of a permanent home and a supportive community, Haniff graduated from L.A. Kitchen’s culinary job training program, and he was recently hired as a prep cook. “It wears you down moving from place to place, and you can’t find a sense of normal. You can’t do anything but exist,” said Haniff. “Now I have a refuge and a routine. With a place to live, I can work towards a better life.”
Help more people struggling with chronic health and mental health conditions escape the cycle of homelessness by supporting Skid Row Housing Trust’s innovative permanent supportive housing. Please consider making a recurring monthly donation to fund evidence-based programs that help residents build healthier futures. Take part in permanently ending homelessness in Los Angeles by giving today.
TIME: For decades, housing for the homeless has too often meant transient shelters or warehouse-like abodes. L.A.’s Star Apartments aims to buck that trend by design; it functions more like a minivillage than a single building, says Maltzan of his third collaboration with Skid Row Housing Trust, a local nonprofit. In addition to 102 prefabricated studios, which are ingeniously staggered into four terraced stories, Star Apartments offers a ground-floor medical clinic and, above that, a garden, an outdoor running track and space for classrooms. The goal, says Maltzan, is to make the residents of its 300-sq.-ft. units—who are handpicked by the county department of health services—feel “like they’re part of a dynamic and intimate community,” a strategy that can help people, especially those struggling with homelessness and substance-abuse issues, re-establish stability in their lives.
We are proud to announce that the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awarded the Trust a two-year, $400,000 grant to improve our wrap-around supportive services, allowing us to better address the long-term needs of residents who struggle with chronic health conditions. While the security of a permanent home is the first step towards safety, stability and wellness, ongoing access to essential health services is critical to a better quality of life that will last. For instance, the Trust has been developing “aging in place” strategies to help the increasing number of older residents continue living independently for as long as possible, including targeted workshops on depression, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and home safety. With the support of the Hilton Foundation, we will continue working to identify and fill gaps in our outreach, housing, and health services so that we can continue breaking the cycle of homelessness and hospitalization.
The Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $100 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2014. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.
We are pleased to announce that the Los Angeles chapter of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has awarded our Housing Development team a $35,000 grant to increase and improve permanent supportive housing in Downtown Los Angeles utilizing HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program.
RAD is a rental housing preservation strategy that allows properties to be converted from one type of rental subsidy to another in order to improve their financial sustainability. The LISC grant allows us to create a two-project strategy and timeline to rebuild and create over 200 units of permanent supportive housing.
Long term, the planning work conducted for this RAD pilot will allow the Trust to rebuild its oldest and most physically and financially demanding properties, thus expanding the available supply of permanent supportive housing while simultaneously improving the quality of our existing portfolio and the wellbeing of our residents.
The mission of LISC is to equip struggling communities with the capital, strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. In Los Angeles, LISC utilizes capital investments and capacity-building strategies to improve the economic, physical and social living environment of economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Learn more about LA LISC by visiting their web site.
The Architect’s Newspaper: The Star Apartments are Michael Maltzan Architecture’s third project for the Skid Row Housing Trust in downtown Los Angeles. In contrast to the firm’s 2009 New Carver Apartments—a sleek white cylinder with sharply faceted bays—Star is a rough-edged, asymmetrical stack of prefabricated units rising from an existing single-story podium of retail spaces.
KCRW: Who lives on Skid Row—on and off the streets? KCRW’s Lisa Napoli brings us this portrait from the heart of the neighborhood: San Pedro Street. In this portrait, Lisa finds out how one man got off the streets—and what challenges remain.
Outstanding Affordable Project: Star Apartments, Skid Row Housing Trust, LA, Calif. This innovative, 102-unit permanent supportive housing development provides healthy and sustainable homes with social services to disabled men and women experiencing homelessness. Designed by the award-winning firm Michael Maltzan Architecture, this LEED Platinum project includes an onsite medical clinic, a 15,000 square foot Health and Wellness Center, and the new headquarters of the LA County Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Housing for Health Division.