Construction began Thursday on a 45-unit housing development from the Downtown Women’s Center to provide trauma survivors with a safe place to live in Van Nuys.

The four-story development is expected to be ready for residents by the end of 2023 and will include case management services, a learning center, community room, supportive services spaces and a landscaped open space. It is named Oatsie’s Place for Marylouise Oates, who has supported the Downtown Women’s Center for 40 years.

“This is truly a surreal moment for me and something I never could have imagined during my decades of advocacy for unhoused women,” said Oates. “I am truly honored to lend my name to this project, and I have immense pride knowing that Downtown Women’s Center will support a safe and welcoming space for those in this area who need it the most.”

Oatsie’s Place will include 25 one-bedroom homes and 20 studios for individuals and families, including trauma survivors. The center hopes that with Oatsie’s Place and other projects in the works, it will add a total of 245 new units of permanent supportive housing across Los Angeles by 2025.

“Today, we broke ground on Oatsie’s Place for women and survivors of domestic violence, giving them a space to call home — a permanent home,” said City Council President Nury Martinez. “It’s crucial that in our efforts to tackle our homeless crisis, we prioritize unhoused women. I’m so proud to represent Council District 6. This community is not just willing to do their part, but are leading the way in building permanent supportive housing in the Valley.”

The Downtown Women’s Center was founded in 1978 as the first permanent supportive housing provider for women in the U.S., according to its website. It currently offers 119 permanent housing units across two residences in Los Angeles, along with health and wellness services, employment training, advocacy training, and a day center for women to receive meals, showers, restrooms, mail, laundry and telephones.

“Ending homelessness requires leadership at many levels of local government, working in partnership with organizations on the ground to provide unhoused Angelinos with real pathways to permanently break the cycle of homelessness,” Downtown Women’s Center CEO Amy Turk said. “Women represent the fastest-growing portion of the homeless population, and COVID-19 has especially compounded the risk factors that disproportionately impact women, such as intimate partner violence and eviction. We must elect a mayor willing to face this issue head on.”

The project is being built by Daylight Community Development and the Decro Corporation. It received funding through the HHH Innovation Challenge, a city program that awarded funds to six teams to test innovative construction and financing methods to reduce the high production cost and timeline for Proposition HHH projects.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.