Federal legislation introduced Monday would allow the West Los Angeles National Guard Armory to operate year-round as a homeless shelter instead of only during the winter months.

The bill is sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. In a letter to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, they requested that the legislation be included in the next National Defense Authorization Act.

“In addition to its use as a National Guard Armory, the state has allowed it to be used as a temporary shelter for homeless persons, solely during the winter season, for more than 10 years,” they wrote. “Unfortunately, Los Angeles County is facing a homeless crisis that is compounded by a shortage of year-round homeless shelters. There are nearly 53,000 persons experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County on any given night, with over 31,000 who have no other option but to sleep on the streets. While the use of the armory during the winter months provides refuge from inclement weather, the ability to use the armory year-round would help the county to better address this crisis.”

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