On July 26, the LA Homeless Services Authorities (LAHSA) officially purchased the Sylmar Armory for $2.9 million dollars, the first step in its conversion to a year-round bridge housing program for women.
Announcing the purchase in her online newsletter, Happenings, Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl wrote: “For the past several decades, the Armory has operated as a seasonal winter shelter for our Valley neighbors experiencing homelessness. LA Family Housing, the largest affordable housing and supportive services provider in the San Fernando Valley, will operate the new Sylmar Armory Women’s Bridge Housing. A big shout-out to Council Member Monica Rodriguez for stepping up to partner with us on this exciting project,” Kuehl said.
According to the press release, LAHSA’s Homeless Count found there were 58,936 people experiencing homelessness in the County of Los Angeles, of which 44,214 were counted unsheltered.
Of those unsheltered, more than 18,000 were women, who face an extra set of challenges when living on the streets. A report by LAHSA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Women and Homelessness showed that high rates of women had experienced physical and sexual violence, human trafficking, poverty, and poor physical and mental health.
In addition to the general need to build housing capacity for all individuals experiencing homelessness, it is essential for women to have a safe place to call home where they can address potential trauma experienced on the streets and begin to heal.
On October 3, 2017, the Board approved converting the Sylmar Armory to a year-round bridge housing program for women, to be operated by LA Family Housing, the lead homeless service provider in the Valley that has extensive experience operating bridge housing.
“This exciting project will help provide some of these women with a safe, stable place to call home as they begin to heal and start their journey to permanent housing,” said Kuehl.
The Armory was owned by the State of California and is located at 12860 Arroyo Street in the City of Los Angeles and the County’s Third District. The 11,369-square-foot building sits on 5.1 acres and has operated for the past several decades as a seasonal winter shelter.
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