The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to spend $2.2 million in state funds to expand services for the homeless in downtown’s Skid Row.
Under two approved motions authored by Councilman Jose Huizar, $1.5 million will be allocated to provide rapid re-housing and social services to about 150 women facing homelessness, $500,000 will be used to expand access to Skid Row restroom and shower facilities for up to 180 people daily, and $150,000 will be earmarked for “community ambassadors” to help homeless people find social services.
“Today’s vote by the Los Angeles City Council will provide increased services that address the immediate needs of Skid Row’s homeless population with expanded hygiene services,” Huizar said. “In addition, our partnership with Downtown Women’s Center will allow us to provide housing solutions for women, who are the largest growing segment of our homeless population and have unique needs that need customized solutions.”
The rapid re-housing services for women will assist with accessing federal, state and local benefits, which includes education, employment and housing placement. The goal is to help the women transition from homelessness to temporary or permanent housing.
Trauma-informed care training will also be provided by the Women’s Center to help improve the placement retention for minority women.
“Downtown Women’s Center is excited to apply our unique gendered and racial lens to house more women and support them to thrive in housing,” said Lisa Watson, the center’s interim CEO. “Our trauma-informed care support will be critical to our success.”
Funding will expand the restroom and shower access for Skid Row residents, which is provided by St. Vincent de Paul.
Huizar introduced a proposal Friday to provide additional storage for homeless people in Skid Row, and he also wants the city to look for bridge housing shelter sites in the area.
If approved, the storage capacity on Skid Row would be increased from 1,464 to 2,500 bins, which would allow almost every person on Skid Row without shelter to have access to a storage facility, according to Huizar.