Now WeHo wants to build a ‘one-stop’ homeless service center

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With the deal to convert the former Holloway Motel into interim housing finally sealed this week, West Hollywood now has its sights set on a new goal: establishing a “one-stop facility/drop-in center” for WeHo’s homeless services. 

While greenlighting the operating contract for the Holloway Interim Housing Program at their meeting Monday night, City Council also received a quiet update to the city’s Five-Year Plan to Address Homelessness in Our Community from the Human Services and Rent Stabilization Department. 

Tucked within the update is a brief but unmistakeable mention of the city’s next big idea in its efforts to address homelessness:

In 2024, the City will realize a longtime goal (and one of the goals included in the five-year plan) with the opening of the Holloway Interim Housing Program — to operate an interim housing program within City limits. Following the launch of this program, allowing time to make any necessary programmatic or operational adjustments, it will be vitally important to continue efforts included in the plan to identify a physical location for easy access to a range of services, including, but not limited to, restrooms, showers, laundry, safe storage, etc. This aligns with other division work plan goals to create a one-stop access/navigation center to access the full range of services funded by the City for both housed and unhoused community members.

The goal is based off recommendations in a study conducted last year by the United Way of Los Angeles and the RAND Corporation that call for these “one-stop shops” for people experiencing homelessness. The study describes them as such:

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Drop-in centers typically have indoor space that offers multiple services in one location, ideally on a daily basis, and with a focus on services that are under-provided, but that are most sought by clients. Essentially, a one-stop shop for basic day-to-day needs, and to connect people to longer term care, such as health, housing, social, and financial supports.

City Hall’s report notes that WeHo’s service providers — such as Ascencia, recipient of the multimillion dollar contract to run the Holloway Interim Housing  Program —  are “keen on expanding current services, with 74% wanting to increase service capacity and 61% aiming to improve service quality.”

“However,” the report admits, “challenges such as community resistance and difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff are significant barriers.”

THE HOMELESS COUNT

The update to the Five-Year Plan also notes a curious anomaly in the annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count conducted last year by LAHSA.

West Hollywood’s official count of homeless people within city limits for 2022 was 40. 

“Unfortunately,” the report reads,  “due to inconsistent data, LAHSA did not release 2023 homeless count figures for individual cities in the county; this data point is missing.”

However, omitted from the staff report was data that LAHSA did release which shows homeless counts in West Hollywood’s seven U.S. Census tracts. In 2022, the total for the census tracts in WeHo was 29.

In 2023, it was 85 — an increase of 193 percent.

Last year’s count in WeHo was conducted out of sight from the public and the media. When the comprehensive results were published, they revealed a 9 percent rise in homelessness throughout L.A. County. While WeHo politicians campaigning for higher office — including former Councilmember Lindsey Horvath and former Mayor Sepi Shyne — have used the data to claim they have reduced homelessness, LAHSA’s methods have been widely scrutinized, and it is almost universally accepted that the figures they produce are a significant undercount.

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just a thought
just a thought
20 days ago

Its almost like counting every homeless person outside on exactly ONE night a year (third January) and deciding that is the ONLY FACTOR allowed to be used to determine the homeless population is a completely stupid metric and leads to very flawed reporting and inconsistent census count, the effect of which is exasperated in a very small square mileage city like west hollywood.

but no! that wouldn’t allow for sensationalist handwringing so surely that can’t be the case!

just another day of Brandon harming the mentality of too many of you sheep

Ken Howard, LCSW, CST
Ken Howard, LCSW, CST
26 days ago

West Hollywood HAD a “one-stop” drop-in homeless services center called the Hollywood Access Center on Vine St. just south of Santa Monica in the mid-90’s through about 2002 or so. I worked there as a psychiatric social worker from LA County DMH as a case manager circa 1997-2000. It had file cabinets to receive mail, and reps from the Social Security Administration, VA, LA County Dept. of Mental Health for linkage to psych meds at DMH’s Hollywood Mental Health Center north on Vine (still there). It lacked shower, food, storage, or laundry, though. Homeless people came there for housing placement… Read more »

Ken Howard, LCSW, CST
Ken Howard, LCSW, CST
26 days ago

I mentioned in another article’s Comments section that West Hollywood has been here before. There was an emergency shelter of about 50 beds in a big dorm and about 10 “transitional housing” rooms in a big warehouse on La Brea where West Hollywood Gateway and Target/Best Buy are now. I was the HIV mental health counselor there from about 1995-1997 at West Hollywood Homeless Organization, which merged with PATH and moved to PATH headquarters just before the area was razed for the Gateway. It was moderately successful, but fraught. They had on-site and roaming/field-based Case Managers but overall it was… Read more »

West
West
23 days ago

Thanks for your work, and for sharing your insights: very relevant for us to learn from.

BloodshotEyedGuy
BloodshotEyedGuy
28 days ago

If WeHo’s leaders continue virtue signaling at this rate, they’ll all be appointed Heavenly angels by summer.

Resources
Resources
28 days ago

Would encourage folks to read this very insightful article that appeared today in the NYTimes about a diligently followed case regarding a man with schizophrenia and his experience with various aspects in and out of the healthcare system.

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/28/health/schizophrenia-treatment-family.html#commentsContainer

Frank
Frank
29 days ago

The word “Now” in the headline is problematic and bad journalism. Just a reminder that this is not a legitimate news outlet. It’s a blog.

Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
29 days ago

I keep reading and hearing the name, Ascencia, but I know nothing about them. Does anybody know anything about their to date success rate in dealing with and helping homeless and or mentally ill people? Considering the city is trusting them with millions of dollars for this program, I would love to see some background, history, and facts about this agency!

Larry Block
29 days ago
Reply to  Mikie Friedman

You can take a tour of their facility in the Valley. PATH, our former homeless provider dropped West Hollywood about 5-6 years ago.

CHASE!
CHASE!
28 days ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Thanks for the facts, Larry, that is sad to hear, as this article tells us that the Homeless increase in WeHo went from only 29 in 2022, but a year later, “2023, it was 85 — an increase of 193 percent.” We can imagine this will further increase in unknown dimensions, and it is comforting to hear that WeHo is now stepping up to fill the immediate void.

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
29 days ago
Reply to  Mikie Friedman

Simply look up the list of our providers. They are exemplary in their performance and brought the quality of service into the stratosphere compared to the former nightmare of Path.

Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
28 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy palmieri

Thank you, Jimmy! I did do a search and read quite a bit about Asencia. it looks like they do a lot of good work. I should have done that before I posted, but I guess I was just being lazy!

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
28 days ago
Reply to  Mikie Friedman

I have sent personal friends there that have fallen on hard times. They were treated well. Fed more food than they could eat and were allowed to bring yheir dog. If you search Path in wehoville you will see how I fought tooth and nail. Against staff, to replace Path. My placements there suffered.

John Arnold
John Arnold
29 days ago

Mayor Byers will make this happen in 2025.

Last edited 29 days ago by John Arnold
Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
29 days ago
Reply to  John Arnold

Titular mayors in contract cities have zero executive authority to effect anything. Their role is simply to chair meetings at which only the consensus of all five councilmembers can enact policy. Horvath started this communications lie that she “as mayor” made all sorts of stuff happen. She trained Shyne well to do the same and Shyne is now trying to exploit (lie about) that bullpucky in her race for Congress. Standby to watch Erickson do the same, and we have every confidence the Byers is similarly hungry for something beyond West Hollywood. We need to get back to electing long-term… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Alan Strasburg
JF1
JF1
29 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Please run for council!

West
West
23 days ago
Reply to  JF1

A Strasburg 2024 campaign would be welcome

voter
voter
28 days ago
Reply to  John Arnold

Byers has no track record in anything beyond protesting the state of Israel. I will not accept her as our mayor and am deeply offended by her behavior and comments.

Last edited 28 days ago by voter
voter
voter
29 days ago

Attracting hordes of homeless people to West Hollywood is hardly in the interest of residents and taxpayers. I’ve not spoken to a single West Hollywood resident who supports the homeless hotel or any other site of that nature.

Last edited 29 days ago by voter
Carolyn M Campbell
Carolyn M Campbell
29 days ago
Reply to  voter

I am a homeowner a block away and I support it. I am appalled by the WeHo NIMBY attitude. All this progressive lip service for dealing with the unhoused but then all this “not in my back yard.” Sheesh.

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
28 days ago

They will complain that there are no services. Then they complain when there are. I despise NIMBY mentality. Sadly it has become more and more prevalent as the years go on.

Carolyn M Campbell
Carolyn M Campbell
25 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy palmieri

I hear you, Jimmy. Many people suffered due to Covid and four years of the Orange Menace, but why the lack of empathy for those far-less fortunate than most of us WeHo residents? I have lived here for 37 years and was saddened to see my formerly low-key street of Holloway Drive turn into veritable traffic gridlock due to overdevelopment. I take a stand where I can and speak out against inappropriate building projects in the City. And will continue to do so. However, I am baffled by the anger and condemnation of a project that is being overseen by… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Carolyn M Campbell
:dpb
:dpb
29 days ago

Two things are very clear here. The City of Weho has no balls to speak about its plans, one only finds it in the small print and that residents and merchants are not important to those at the City of West Hollywood. The city’s concern and focus is the satisfaction of developers and homeless; nothing else matters. Period. Thank you Erickson, Shyne and Byers. I will never identify as a liberal again, your priorities are atrocious and decisive and are tearing this city apart.

Missy
Missy
28 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

You are absolutely right. I think Los Angeles has normalized homelessness. There are too many people/nonprofits/corporations making a lot of money ‘solving the problem’ to actually ‘solve it’. The only stories I’ve heard or read re: residents and interactions with the homeless are negative. Sometimes, extremely negative e.g. being assaulted by a homeless person and calling 911, but police never show up. If they do, no action is taken. The police know that no matter what they do, the homeless will be released & will return to the area where they usually stay. Until the city (WeHo and LA) starts… Read more »

Joshua88
Joshua88
30 days ago

People have been complaining about our homelessness problems for years.
Then people complain that the WeHo project will utterly fail.

What (TF) do you people want?

Larry Block
30 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

There seems to be a passion from some to create WeHo as a destination for the homeless. So yes, if you build it they will come, so of course it invites complaints. Some of our politicians have claimed to have fixed the problem. They cant have it both ways. What us people want is policiies that do not attract the homeless from all over Los Angeles.

JF1
JF1
30 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

The one thing that jumps out at me is that they are not requiring any treatment for people that are being placed at the facility of the old Holloway motel. Without treatment these 90 day stays are going to put the people right back out on the street because unless they work on their addiction or mental health issues they are not going to be equipped to maintain housing should they ever find it. Waste of taxpayer funds. (yes there are a small percentage of homeless that don’t have mental health or addiction problems but the vast majority of homeless… Read more »

JF1
JF1
30 days ago

“Last year’s count in WeHo was conducted out of sight from the public and the media.” That was the biggest joke. This council wants to take this small city and turn it into homeless central (addicts, the mentally ill and bums) way to go! VOTE THEM OUT!

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