Acclaimed Service Provider Will Partner with SPY

 

(VENICE, CA May 16, 2019) – The Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority has selected People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) to manage and operate the bridge housing facility set to open in Venice this summer, Councilmember Mike Bonin announced today.

PATH, one of the nation’s most successful and respected homeless service providers, will be the lead operator of the site and will work with the Venice-based Safe Place for Youth, which will also provide services at the temporary facility, which will provide 100 beds for adults and 54 beds for youth.

“I am thrilled to be moving forward with such an excellent team,” Bonin said. “PATH and SPY are highly regarded service providers with a history of success, years of experience in the community, and a great track record of working with neighbors. I am confident they will make Bridge Home Venice a success.”

The city’s A Bridge Home program, championed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city and county officials, is designed to replace concentrations of homeless encampments on nearby sidewalks with temporary, safe, secure housing and services that provide homeless people a bridge to permanent housing. The facilities, at various locations around Los Angeles, will be open 24-7, provide meals, restrooms, showers, ample storage, and room for pets. The sites will offer case management and other programs and services for their residents.

“Homelessness is a severe and urgent crisis, and bridge housing in Venice is a big and important part of a multi-faceted strategy that most Venetians support and demand,” Bonin said. “No one deserves to live on a sidewalk, and no one deserves to have encampments in their neighborhood. Bridge housing is a needed alternative to encampments, and PATH and SPY are the team we need to make it work in Venice.”

PATH, which practices the nationally-recognized Housing First approach, operates three other bridge housing locations in Los Angeles. The organization, started on the Westside in the 1980s, provides short-term and permanent housing, case management, medical and mental healthcare, benefits advocacy, employment training, and other services. Since 2013, PATH has connected more than 8,500 people to permanent homes.

“Bridge housing is an important first step in the process of moving our most vulnerable into permanent supportive housing and PATH is grateful for the continued partnership of Councilmember Bonin on this effort,” said Jennifer Hark-Dietz, Deputy CEO of PATH. “Venice Bridge Home is a sign of progress and it is of the utmost importance that elected officials, landlords, the nonprofit sector and neighborhood leaders continue to work together to find and build housing for those in need.”

SPY, founded in 2011 in Venice, serves homeless youth, ages 12-25. The group provides transitional housing, street outreach, drop-in services, case management, health and wellness, education and employment programs.

“Having access to Bridge Housing is critical when working on providing stability to youth experiencing homelessness,” said Alison Hurst, Executive Director of Safe Place for Youth. “An alternative to the streets will give young people the opportunity to thrive in a safe and supportive living environment, while we work with them on long term solutions for their homeless crisis.”

Both agencies have experience in the community. Several years ago, PATH helped house more than 100 people who were living in their vehicles in Venice and recently partnered with Los Angeles World Airports to serve and successfully house people living in large encampments near LAX.  The organization operates transitional housing in West LA and provides permanent supportive housing at a building in Del Rey. SPY launched in Venice, focuses its services there, and has its headquarters and drop-in center there. SPY also jointly operates bridge housing for youth at locations in Mar Vista and Westwood.

The City of Los Angeles has opened 4 bridge housing facilities, has approved 12 others, and is evaluating 10 other locations. A second bridge housing site in Bonin’s council district — 100 beds for homeless veterans — is under construction in Brentwood on the VA campus.

Bridge Home Venice, located on a Metro-owned former bus yard on Main Street, near some of Venice’s largest encampments, will open in late summer. Construction will begin on the site in a few weeks.

For more information about the Venice Bridge Home site, please visit https://11thdistrict.com/a-bridge-home/venice-faq/.

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