UPDATED 📸 Sneak preview of the Holloway homeless facility

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🔔 UPDATED 🔔1/30/2024 with details of the architectural rendering of the building and photos from a Jan. 23 press conference held on the premises.

West Hollywood on Jan. 19 rubber-stamped an agreement with its homeless services provider Ascencia to operate the interim housing facility scheduled to open inside the former Holloway Motel by the end of 2024.

WEHOonline delves deep into the fine print of the $6.6. million, four-and-a-half-year contract.

City Council reviewed a comprehensive plan covering how the Holloway Interim Housing Program at 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. will be run and what the rules will be for those who stay there.

The program will provide a private bedroom and bathroom for as many as 20 homeless people at a time for stays lasting between 30 and 90 days. Those who want to enter the program must meet the federal definition of being “chronically homeless” i.e. have a disabling condition and have been either continuously homeless for a year or more or have had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. 

Though Ascencia will have the option of conducting criminal background checks on new residents, it won’t be a requirement. The residents will be allowed to come and go as they please during the day and stay out overnight with prior approval from a staff member. If a resident fails to contact their case manager after two nights of absence, they will be considered to have abandoned the program. 

The program will be run under the Housing First/harm reduction model, which sees getting homeless people off the streets as a greater priority than requiring them to be sober or submit to treatment. Residents will not be kicked out of the program if they’re caught engaging in “risky or harmful behaviors.”

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If a resident enters the facility intoxicated, they can return to their room with a staff member’s approval as long as they aren’t disruptive. The contract says alcohol, cannabis and other illegal substances (plus any paraphernalia) will not be allowed at the facility, but it does not address whether or how the rule will be enforced. There is no mention of drug testing, but staff members will be trained in the use of NARCAN and other measures to prevent deaths by overdose. 

Beyond help finding permanent housing, residents will have access to a wide range of free, on-site services and amenities — including medical and psychiatric care, therapy sessions, public benefits assistance, substance abuse treatment, life coaching, job counseling and legal aid— but they won’t be forced to use them.

Residents will get three meals a day tailored to their individual dietary needs, plus two snacks. They’ll receive transportation to and from “essential services and appointments” via TAP cards, rideshare vouchers or the program’s own vehicle.  Every five days, they’ll get their rooms cleaned and linens changed, and be provided with hygiene supplies. They’ll have storage for their bicycles, and they can park their cars at a nearby city lot. They’ll even be allowed to bring in their service animals, who can stay in their rooms or in a dedicated outdoor area. 

During their stays, they can take advantage of a “calendar of diverse daily activities” like 12-step meetings, book groups, arts and crafts sessions, exercise and yoga coordinated by Ascencia staff. 

No guests will be allowed inside the facility, and residents are not supposed to mingle in each other’s rooms. Each room will have a bed, desk, dresser and chair, and each resident gets a set of linens, a pillow, a blanket, and a set of towels. The facility will have a group activities room with a TV, an outdoor patio, a laundry room, a trash enclosure, a storage area, a food preparation area and, notably, a smoking area (West Hollywood currently prohibits renters from using their own apartment balconies to smoke cigarettes or vape).

The program will have one on-site security guard at all times who will conduct routine patrols within a ¼ mile radius and be responsible for checking all residents in and out of the facility. The guard will also be responsible for making sure residents do not bring in weapons, incendiary devices or other dangerous items. The contract doesn’t mention inspections for illegal substances.

A staff of approximately nine full-time employees will be responsible for running the facility and overseeing the 20 residents, including an on-site manager, a supportive services supervisor and coordinator, two case managers and four resident advisors. 

If Ascencia is able to get just 30% of residents into permanent housing, they will have satisfied the main performance goal laid out in their contract with the city.

In addition to the $6.6 million for Ascencia, the total cost of the program includes $463,509.94 in architectural design services by John Kaliski Architects, Inc. and a construction contract with PCN3, Inc. worth $8,707,815. These costs are offset by a Project Homekey grant the city received that provided $4,799,661 in state funds for capital expenditures and $1,008,000 for operating expenses. 

 

 

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Ben McCormick
Ben McCormick
22 days ago

And what happens if, at the end of Ascensia’s four-and-a-half year contract to operate this facility, they decide it is not profitable enough for them and they decline to renew the contract? What is the City’s contingency plan?

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
27 days ago

Looks clean and fresh! I think everyone will be shocked at how nice it will look.

JF1
JF1
26 days ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

No one is questioning how “pretty” the building will be. We are concerned with what impact this will have on the city.

sadinweho
sadinweho
26 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Last night attempted to walk down the street at 7:15ish. Now starting to see individuals with their hoodies up lurking all around. Sad 🙁 Might just be me but in the last few weeks definitely seems like an influx of MORE homeless in the neighborhood. Pavilions side entrance (that used to be usable) sometimes now looks like an encampment..

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
26 days ago
Reply to  JF1

I think the idea of how “pretty” this project will be is an important idea. The same activities that you’re worried about, such as substance abuse and sex trafficking, exist in many of WeHo’s institutions, but everyone thinks it’s just fine. The difference is the pretty packaging. The City is already being impacted, and you guys think it’s just fine. At least these people are trying to help.

Ken Howard, LCSW, CST
Ken Howard, LCSW, CST
27 days ago

I think I should’ve been asked to consult on this. I am a longtime resident of West Hollywood, and we’ve been here before. West Hollywood Homeless Organization (WHHO) was a nonprofit that housed homeless people in a large emergency shelter room, and a series of two person transitional housing rooms, in a big warehouse which used to be at the site currently where West Hollywood Gateway and Target is on La Brea. I was the HIV mental health counselor there, on an LA county office of AIDS programs and policy contract, and other funding was from LA homeless services authority,… Read more »

Outraged
Outraged
27 days ago

Why is no one questioning what the Executive Director and other top brass at Ascencia are being paid? Why is no one questioning the executive administration salaries versus paying for competent case managers, as opposed to just being for the aggrandizement of the upper management of Ascencia as a private organization feeding at the public trough? There needs to be transparency and limits on executive compensation when it’s taxpayer money, and not have it be top-heavy where they executives make all the money and they have underpaid incompetent people doing all the actual work. That’s often the case in these… Read more »

Question
Question
27 days ago

Is this the correct total?

$4.2M Purchase Price (not mentioned above)
+$6.6M Ascencia
+$8,707,815 Construction
+$463,509 Design
=================
$19,971,321 Total

-$4,799,661 Project Homekey Offset
-$1,008,000 Project Homekey Offset
=================
=$14,163,660 (Weho’s cost)

My complaint here is something this expensive and impactful on a community should be done with transparency, feedback and ideally with a ballot vote. This was done fast and secretively. That’s not ok. And I bet Alta Cienega Motel is next.

lonis
lonis
27 days ago
Reply to  Question

money??

the left says there is no budgets as long as the middle class goes along with it

the middle class always pays the bills no matter where the money is spent

Cy Husain
26 days ago
Reply to  lonis

Kind of like those imperialist wars that enrich the military industrial complex, right❓

Skeptical
Skeptical
27 days ago
Reply to  Question

Whoever said that the city should just take $14 million and hand it out to homeless people for first and last months rent/security deposit was really on to something. Pay it directly to the landlords or landlady if they want to really put “housing first“. They’ll probably just be evicted anyway, but so will the people who are the graduates of this program. Helping homeless people to become permanently housed is really a tall order and there just isn’t the political will or the taxpayer funding to support what it would really take to help these people get turned around.… Read more »

Joshua88
Joshua88
22 days ago
Reply to  Question

Click on the red type in the line: “WEHOonline delves deep into the fine print of the $6.6. million, four-and-a-half-year contract.” and it opens a PDF.
Then you should be able to answer your own question.

Ely
Ely
1 month ago

It’s funny how you see all the same people who complain incessantly about the homeless are now complaining incessantly about any and all attempts at a solution. Do you people just enjoy complaining? Do you have any viable solutions to offer because I highly doubt it.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
27 days ago
Reply to  Ely

You think million dollar units for the homeless is a solution?

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
27 days ago
Reply to  Ely

They’d rather have a bunch of queens from out of town doing meth in this motel, than helping anybody. That’s acceptable, but helping other people is apparently not. Kind of like the WeHo bars that are revered institutions, despite the fact that people are doing all sorts of illegal substances in the restrooms.

Last edited 27 days ago by WeHo Mary!
Londa
Londa
1 month ago

Great. Don’t require them not to drink or abuse drugs. That’s going to help them recover and get on their feet. 6 million, they might help 600 people over ten years. Just give more homeless money for the first and last month’s rent. What a corrupt waste of money.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

A lot of nasty hateful selfish people in the comments. I hope they don’t represent the entire city of West Hollywood.
Check yourselves.

Cy Husain
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

NO, they are by no means the majority of West Hollywood or even make up a significant minority of West Hollywood, if they were you would see a number of people just like MTG or Lauren Boebert elected to office here and, you DON’T ❗ The most reactionary people are the most likely to comment with most liberals remaining quiet but, I doubt that most of the comments even come from West Hollywood, most likely OC republican internet trolls.

lonis
lonis
27 days ago
Reply to  Chris

as you continue to refuse to take them in and/or deliver the good$ directly to them

thats what is really nasty

Cy Husain
26 days ago
Reply to  lonis

That WON’T solve the problem not only on large scale and possibly on the individual scale given that many of the unhoused have problems related to mental health and healthcare that the general public is NOT equipped or trained to handle.

voter
voter
1 month ago

Inviting hundreds of mostly deranged and desperate vagrants into the heart of our community is a sick and dangerous game to be playing with the welfare of West Hollywood residents and taxpayers. Many of them will adopt our city as their permanent homeless base.

How much damage will we have to endure to end this depraved social experiment?

Cy Husain
1 month ago
Reply to  voter

Sounds like the old reactionary rantings from the long gone 20th Century about the country being overrun by Nonwhites, Environmentalists, Feminists, Leftists, and the LGBTQ+. Notice that in the 21st Century everywhere these people settled down became the most highly sought after places to live❓

lonis
lonis
27 days ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

as you refuse to take them into your home and/or pay them directly

thats the reallll cruelty !!!!

Cy Husain
26 days ago
Reply to  lonis

The real cruelty was all those refusing to live with me stomping on in the middle of the night❗ I fully support Public Housing & Healthcare and Universal Basic Income, all of which come at a fraction of the cost of any imperialist war with proven returns to society.

John on Hancock
John on Hancock
1 month ago

So much for the CVS!

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago

I hope at the meeting, Sepi, Chelsea and Erickson, the supporters of this total waste of money shelter (stop calling it a “facility”), will each take in a few violent untreated people who applied, but couldn’t get in cause there was no room at the inn. They all refer to it as a “crisis”, so if it’s really a “crisis”, the people who recognize it as a “crisis” need to take real personal action. When will the neighboring CVS finally recognize the city is making things worse, and shut their doors for good? The IHOP is gone. Let the dominos… Read more »

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

People like you gripe ENDLESSLY about the homeless population, but as soon as something constructive is being done to help the situation you gripe ENDLESSLY about that as well. You can’t have it both ways karen. Get a grip.

Magga McMurtree
Magga McMurtree
1 month ago

I love love love reading the comments! The cognitive dissonance continues to astonish. I must admit; however, the fact that it’s not satire is a little disturbing.

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