LOS FELIZ — The city of Los Angeles opened a new “bridge home” in the Los Feliz neighborhood on Friday, July, 24, to assist in the homelessness crisis that gripes the city.
The temporary sprung structure is capable of housing up to 100 men and women as well as their pets. Also, the Los Feliz Bridge Home offers residents counseling and support, food, hygienic resources, a pet area and storage.
“The Los Feliz Bridge Home will mean shelter, safety and healthcare for hundreds of people currently living on the streets or in the LA River,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. “This center will save lives. It’s not just about the housing, but the care and services that our unhoused neighbors so desperately need – and the close collaboration with the community that will make more homeless housing centers possible.”
The 10,800 square-foot housing structure is serviced by People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), who seek to help people find permanent housing and provide medical and mental care to homeless victims.
The venture, which costs $7.096 million primarily funded through State grants, was initially proposed by Councilmember Ryu in February 2019 and was approved by City Council shortly after in March. Construction on the structure began this past February following approval from the City Planning Commission to build the site on Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Boulevard. It is the third bridge housing center established in Council District Four in the past year.
Despite early public support from neighborhood groups, nearby residents of the project
filed a lawsuit against the construction of the shelter in January 2020 saying that Los Angeles officials disregarded state and city policies in regards to the planned site. The lawsuit argues that the officials abused their discretion by giving the shelter an emergency exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act and did not hold enough hearings for public input on the project, according to the LA Times.
The homelessness crisis has grown increasingly throughout Los Angeles in the past couple of years, especially as of late amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a report on the Greater Los Angeles area released in June, the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority noted that within the city limits, the homeless population saw a 16.1% rise to 41,290 individuals when compared to numbers last year.