Permanent supportive housing – decent, affordable, community-based housing that offers voluntary support services – has proven to be most effective at helping individuals who struggle long-term homelessness. However, Los Angeles only has enough of permanent supportive housing to help 20% of those in need. We are proud to announce that Bank of America awarded the Trust $20,000 to help us continue creating safe and stable homes for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. With the support of partners like Bank of America, we aim to develop or renovate over 1,200 units of permanent supportive housing over the next five years. “Tackling the immediate needs of our homeless neighbors who continue to struggle with access to affordable housing is important to assist them with regaining and maintaining long-term stability,” said Raul A. Anaya, Los Angeles market president, Bank of America. “By supporting nonprofits like Skid Row Housing Trust, we can strengthen our community and play a vital role in its overall economic health.”
This summer, interns from Gensler Los Angeles raised $2,000 to purchase supplies for Welcome Home Kits for the first-ever residents of Crest Apartments, the Trust’s newest permanent supportive housing property.
Welcome Home Kits help ease the transition from homelessness into housing by providing essential kitchen ware, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items. On August 1st, the interns put the kits together alongside staff from National Equity Fund, which assisted in the financing of the Crest Apartments. In the next few weeks, new residents moving into Crest Apartments will each receive one of these kits, which will also include handwritten notes of support from the interns.
We are thrilled to work with innovative partners like Gensler and National Equity Fund who care deeply about every step of the permanent supportive housing process. Stay tuned over the coming months as we celebrate the official grand opening of the Crest Apartments, which will provide 64 units of permanent supportive housing in L.A.’s Van Nuys neighborhood.
On June 23rd, we raced paper boats across City National Plaza Fountain to raise support for Skid Row Housing Trust! We raised over $50,000 for permanent supportive housing that breaks the cycle of homelessness, a record for the event. Thank you to Psomas and all the wonderful sponsors, volunteers, participants, and donors who made this fun-filled event possible. View photos online highlighting the event, and check out the great PHHHOTO booth at http://phhhoto.com/p/paperyacht.
Tasty treats and beverages were served by The Pie Hole, Pink’s Hotdogs, Tito’s Vodka, and Boomtown Brewery. Silent auction items were donated by Rotelli Cyclery, Skingraft, LA Downtowner, The Standard, ACE Hotel, Warby Parker, Tanner Goods, Wheelhouse Coffee, Panel Wallets, and many more. This year’s sponsors included:
Eminent Resources, Inc.
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.
STAT News: The job sounds impossible: solve the health care crisis in the massive and desperately sick homeless population of Skid Row, which sprawls across dozens of blocks just south of downtown.
The proposal also calls upon the City of Los Angeles to create new, local revenue streams to fund the increased production of permanent supportive housing, and to build upon Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Executive Directive 13 to dramatically reduce development timelines for permanent supportive housing.
“We know that permanent supportive housing has a proven track record of helping those most in need, while saving government and tax-payer money,” said California Community Foundation President & CEO Antonia Hernández. “By moving frequent users of services like emergency rooms and shelters into apartments that provide much-needed social services, we’re helping our homeless neighbors stabilize and eventually become self-sufficient.”
Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Gill Cedillo, and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson also spoke in support of the initiative. The foundations’ support will leverage Mayor Garcetti’s commitment of $138 million to combat homelessness over the next year. The coalition aims to build on this momentum and encourage the City to develop long-term solutions to homelessness.
“Homelessness touches every corner of our City, impacting all of us,” said Mayor Garcetti. “To combat the crisis, my 2016 budget will include a historic $138 million investment to drive forward our homelessness strategies, but as we bring record levels of City investments to the table, we also need all hands on deck. These foundations are leading the private sector by partnering with us to do more for those who need our help the most. I applaud their work.”
In addition to remarks from CEO Mike Alvidrez, New Genesis resident, Joe Sims spoke about the impact that permanent supportive housing has had on his health and wellbeing.
We’ve partnered with The Order, a Downtown Los Angeles tattoo parlor, to offer free tattoo cover-ups to Trust residents. Tattoos, particularly those gained in prison, can be lasting reminders of a painful past. By transforming tattoos that are a source of stigma and shame, a cover-up can represent redemption, acceptance and hope. Kenneth, a Peer Advocate at the Trust, was the first to visit The Order for a tattoo cover-up. Now a mentor who teaches creative writing to residents, Kenneth received the tattoo while incarcerated. Kenneth was proud of his transformed tattoo by the end of the process, lighting up the whole room with his smile.
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.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon, and US Congressman Xavier Becerra helped the Trust officially unveil The Six, welcoming new residents home. With 52 apartments and studios for formerly homeless individuals, it is the Trust’s first development with permanent supportive housing specifically for veterans. In the military, “got your six” means “I’ve got your back.” The Six has space for onsite supportive programs to help residents achieve health and wellness, and its courtyards and common areas are peaceful sanctuaries that connect with the surrounding community. Designed by Brooks + Scarpa Architects, The Six is expected to receive LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Located in MacArthur Park, The Six is the Trust’s first building completed outside of Downtown Los Angeles, showing that our successful model, based on Housing First, Harm Reduction, and Design Equity, can be applied to neighborhoods across the region. We are expanding our work to create more supportive and affordable housing options for the 44,000 people who are homeless throughout Los Angeles County.