City Council President Nury Martinez and Mayor Eric Garcetti Monday joined The Salvation Army for a ribbon cutting for the Aetna A Bridge Home shelter in Van Nuys, which will serve 70 homeless people.
“Today is a big step forward for those who will live here, and we celebrate that,” Martinez said. “It is one step of many more we need to take to help those experiencing homelessness.”
The shelter is located in an underused Metro Orange Line parking lot on Aetna Street. The all-modular trailer temporary shelter has a hygiene trailer with showers, restrooms and laundry service, an administrative trailer for case workers and one larger trailer for dorms, which will also provide space for residents’ pets, according to Martinez.
There is also an indoor community room. Outside, the site includes a storage area, a dining area and pet relief space.
The Salvation Army is the site’s service provider and will provide case management service, including housing, substance abuse and mental health assistance. The 46 men and 24 women will also receive three meals a day. Service intake will begin Friday.
“For our unhoused neighbors, the Aetna A Bridge Home marks the beginning of hope and healing, and a turning point on the road to permanent housing,” Garcetti said. “Across Los Angeles, communities are standing up to declare that `we are each other’s keeper,’ and I am grateful to Council President Martinez for her leadership, partnership and initiative in steering our city’s 21st A Bridge Home shelter from dream to reality.”
Los Angeles agreed to a three-year lease with the option to renew at the discretion of the City Council. Construction for the $5 million site began in March and was completed in July, Garcetti’s office reported.