LOS ANGELES – As many as 100 homeless people on the Westside could soon come indoors, thanks to a half-million-dollar boost proposed today by Councilmember Mike Bonin for “shared housing” – an innovative approach Bonin has championed for years to house people quickly and cost-effectively.
In a motion submitted to the City Council today, Bonin proposed using $500,000 in his office’s discretionary funds to pay for a shared housing program designed to bring 75-100 people off the streets of Council District 11. The program will be administered by SHARE! – The Self-Help and Recovery Exchange – and will build on success SHARE! has had on the Westside in recent years. Scores of people have come off the street thanks to previous partnerships between the housing organization and Bonin.
“Shared housing is a fast, nimble and cost-effective solution for many of those who need immediate housing,” said Bonin. “We have already seen this innovative approach help bring people inside, and I’m excited to help SHARE! continue its inspiring efforts.”
In shared housing, formerly homeless people live together as a group, in a fully furnished single-family home, sharing a bedroom with a roommate. In the shared recovery model operated by SHARE!, residents share common space The homeowner furnishes the house, pays all utilities, does not collect a Security Deposit and does not require a resident to pay for a credit or background check. Residents pay rent from their disability checks or other income directly to the homeowner.
“We are really excited by the opportunity to expand our mission and help people find not just a place to live, but find a home and a mutually supportive community,” said Jason Robison, program director for SHARE!. “This funding will help bring people inside, saving lives. We are grateful to Councilmember Bonin for his continued support. Long before anyone else in public office was listening, Councilmember Bonin has been a champion for shared housing and for getting people housed quickly.”
Staff from SHARE! will work with Bonin’s office to focus resources and prioritize potential placements for the housing. In the past several years, Bonin has partnered with SHARE to house 187 people in Venice and West LA. Last fall, through a contract with County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, SHARE! helped house more than a dozen people living in Westchester Park.
Shared housing is one of a series of innovative approaches to ending homelessness that Bonin has championed during his time as a City Councilmember (see his 2019 column on the topic here. For more information about the Councilmember’s work to end homelessness, please visit www.11thdistrict.com/issues_homelessness.
Bonin’s motion is expected to be approved by the full City Council later this month.