AIA: Eschewing the mold of traditional shelter models by emphasizing group and social spaces, this 42,500-square-foot housing project provides 52 units, support services, and rehab for formerly homeless disabled veterans and individuals in Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park section.
KCRW Press Play: More than 27,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles. The problem is getting worse. In a special live event, Madeleine Brand looks at how we got here, what at-risk people are doing to keep off the streets, and what big ideas exist to effectively tackle the crisis.
Landscape Architecture Magazine: Speed bumps and curbs that narrow the street to slow traffic. Safety zones for women and LGBTQ residents. Vegetable gardens with citrus trees. Drinking fountains, storage units, and cell phone charging stations. This isn’t a laundry list of community benefits in your local affluent suburb; it’s a wish list for the nation’s most concentrated homeless community in downtown Los Angeles: Skid Row.
Skid Row Housing Trust’s Six Four Nine Lofts development was awarded $5.3 million in California cap-and-trade funding through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC). Six Four Nine Lofts will create 55 supportive homes for homeless and disabled individuals in Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood. A ground-floor medical clinic, with dental, optometry, pharmacy and mental healthcare services, will be operated by Los Angeles Christian Health Centers and is expected to serve 7,500 people each year. In addition, a portion the funding will be used for pedestrian and bike infrastructure improvements around the development, including a new Metro Bike Share Hub. “This development will not only provide homes for people experiencing homelessness, but it will also place housing and medical services near improved transit options,” said Ben Rosen, the Trust’s Director of Real Estate Development. “By making the community more sustainable, Six Four Nine Lofts is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19,182 metric tons.”
Yesterday morning, I had the great privilege of hosting a broad coalition of elected officials, civic leaders, philanthropic partners, nonprofit service providers, and homeless advocates at Skid Row Housing Trust’s New Genesis Apartments, which gathered to urge Angelenos to vote yes on Proposition HHH on the November 2016 ballot. The proposition – “Housing and Hope to End Homelessness”- would allow the city to finance 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing over the next 10 years. It would triple the rate at which Los Angeles currently builds safe, stable, and affordable housing that is desperately needed by thousands of individuals who are currently homeless.
Permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles has a 90% success rate at ending homelessness, and is 43% cheaper than leaving people on the street where they are dependent on emergency services and temporary shelters for care. Not just an apartment, permanent supportive housing offers voluntary on-site health, mental health, recovery and case management services so that formerly homeless individuals can stabilize their lives on their own terms. Unfortunately, there is not enough housing to help all of those in need, and the waitlist is long. Visit yesonhhh.com to learn how Proposition HHH would dramatically accelerate the work that is being done, bringing this proven solution to scale.
Proposition HHH is a common-sense approach based on evidence and years of hands-on experience: Homes end homelessness. It would bring tens of thousands of our neighbors – men, women, children and veterans – home. We were honored to host the launch of this important campaign, which was covered by the LA Times, KCRW, MyNewsLA, ABC, CBS and many more. Join this historic effort to end homelessness in our City by spreading word and voting yes for Proposition HHH this November.
CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust
KCRW: The Los Angeles City Council is weighing two separate measures to fund solutions to homelessness. One likely applicant for those funds will be the nonprofit developer Skid Row Housing Trust, which has built supportive housing by some of LA’s leading architects. Can good architecture and planning help re-integrate the formerly homeless back into society?
ArchPaper: Estimates for 2015 released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority put Los Angeles County’s homeless population at 44,359 individuals, with 17,687 of the 25,686 homeless residents of the City of Los Angeles being completely unsheltered.
CEO Mike Alvidrez was interviewed yesterday by NBC LA, responding to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announcement of a $8.76 billion spending plan for the 2016-2017 fiscal year that sets aside $138 million to address homelessness.
Last week, Skid Row Housing Trust participated in the Housing First Partners Conference in Downtown Los Angeles, which is the largest conference of its kind. Focused on bringing Housing First programs to scale to end chronic homelessness nationwide, over 800 attendees shared strategies and experiences from their communities. As a sponsor, the Trust helped kick-off the conference on Tuesday, March 22nd by leading tours of the Skid Row neighborhood and Trust buildings. Trust staff also presented on lessons learned from renovating and updating older buildings in our portfolio. On the conference’s last day, CEO Mike Alvidrez helped introduce Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who spoke about her $13 billion budget proposal to address homelessness. “We know how to solve homelessness, and our strategies are backed by evidence. For instance, Housing First has been adopted by the VA as the model for ending veteran homelessness,” said Trust CEO Mike Alvidrez. “The challenge now is to expand our programs so that everyone in need can access housing.”