A seldom-used California National Guard Armory in Sylmar will be sold to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority for use as “bridge housing” for women who need homes, under a bill signed Sunday by the governor.
Assembly Bill 3251 was championed by county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and supported by Assembly Member Richard Bloom. County officials have already said it is suitable for use as a 24/7 homeless shelter for women, and it has been used as a shelter during cold or rainy weather for 20 years.
“Converting the Sylmar Armory into a 24-hour resource center will give women experiencing homelessness an opportunity to get back on their feet while providing them with a safe environment, as they look for permanent housing options,” said Bloom.
“The goal of the armory is to assist these high-need individuals with resources necessary to get back into a home — something every human being needs.”
The latest count of people sleeping in the streets, in canyons or on beaches found 52,765 people experiencing homelessness in the county, which estimated that more than 2,000 new emergency shelter beds were needed throughout the county.
A countywide tax made possible by Measure H will fund the purchase and conversion costs, Bloom said.
Kuehl said passage of the new law “provides a great boost to vulnerable women experiencing homelessness, by helping them access bridge housing and services at the Sylmar Armory.”
The “bridge housing” will provide 24-hour dormitory-style living quarters, plus intensive case management, apartment-finding help and employment specialists to get individuals into permanent housing quickly, Bloom said.
In addition to Sylmar, National Guard armories in Hanford, Placerville, Redwood City, Reedley, San Jose and Susanville will be sold to local agencies, under terms of the bill signed by Goc. Jerry Brown Sunday.