A frequently used ReFresh Spot personal hygiene station, typically used by homeless people, was approved for funding Friday by the Los Angeles City Council to relocate it to another site downtown.
The request was made by City Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents a sector of Skid Row downtown, a notably concentrated area of the city’s homeless population. The total funding for the project is a little more than $4.3 million, which will be paid with state grant funding.
“The property’s larger size along with its limited improvement needs provides the city flexibility to permanently adapt its use into the new hygiene center,” Huizar’s motion said. “Although the site’s larger size may necessitate increased maintenance and supply costs, the new site also presents opportunities for expansion of service programming.”
The City Council approved the funding unanimously, 13-0.
According to the motion, the city had to move the location because the Weingart Center, which owns the current site at 557 Crocker St., has plans to develop the space into permanent supportive housing, with construction slated for as early as October.
The new site is on the corner of 544 Towne Ave. and 545 Stanford Ave.
“Due to its increased size over the Crocker site, 544 Towne creates the opportunity for additional service programming in conjunction with city and county agencies, nonprofit service providers and community organizations,” a report from the city’s General Service Department stated.
The lease of the new site will be for five years with a monthly rental rate of $17,000. The ReFresh Spot is a collaborative project operated by Homeless Health Care Los Angeles.
According to HHCLA, the ReFresh Spot is open 24 hours a day with programs designed to create added safety for users in and around the Skid Row area.
Huizar has been seeking millions of dollars in funding for a variety of projects dedicated to cleaning up the homeless population in his district. Earlier this summer, he sought to increase funding for the city’s Department of Sanitation and Environment funding for CARE and CARE-Plus cleanup teams that will conduct outreach and cleanup services in Skid Row.
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