L.A.’s winter homeless shelter gets an upgrade: motel vouchers
A homeless shelter formerly used by homeless individuals for the month of January has gotten an upgrade, thanks to a new partnership with a nonprofit that provides motel vouchers.
The newly renovated H.I.A.H. (Helping In The Homeless), a mobile home that allows low-income families to rent their living space on the streets, now rents rooms at a nearby motel.
The motel is operated by the nonprofit Homelessness Solutions (H.S.), which was founded by Michael Sargent, who co-wrote the 2008 book “Housing: A Beginner’s Guide to Rental Housing.”
Sargent, who served as an assistant commissioner for Los Angeles County’s Office of Public Health at the time, told the Los Angeles Times of the project:
“This is the beginning of a long-term collaborative between Homelessness Solutions and the city.”
H.S. has been in discussions with the city since early last year about turning their space into a transitional housing program, which will provide housing and services for homeless individuals in downtown L.A.
The space is also home to more than 50 homeless people who receive meals from the nonprofit’s Street Life outreach program.
The H.I.A.H., which will be relocated to a nearby site, is one of five mobile living units operated by Homelessness Solutions, which also operates 12 other mobile living units across Los Angeles County.
The agency is also working on several plans to expand the service area. In 2018, the nonprofit started a pilot program for a mobile medical shelter that would provide a “fresh start” to individuals suffering from drug overdoses, psychiatric illnesses, homelessness and other issues.
The mobile medical shelter, which is tent-based and can be moved with a pickup truck, is intended to provide immediate treatment to drug users and others who are at risk for overdose.
For the pilot program, the mobile medical shelter will provide intensive treatment to 25 people a week for about six weeks, according to Homelessness Solutions. The program is funded primarily by a $600,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant and a private donor.
A mobile medical shelter will be used when necessary