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June 13, 2024 | 1,042 total views

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
June 13, 2024

Media Contacts: 
Huáscar Robles, hrobles@lahsa.org

INNOVATIVE INTERIM HOUSING PILOT PREPARES PEOPLE FOR HOUSING WITHIN 30 DAYS.

Los Angeles, CA – On Thursday, June 13, 2024, LAHSA unveiled its Welcome Navigation Center, an innovative interim housing program designed to prepare people for permanent housing within 30 days. The pilot program could become a new model of interim housing that will expedite the rehousing process by addressing multiple barriers to permanent housing under one roof.

LAHSA and city officials visited the facility to commemorate this experimental program and communicate the importance of reimagining the LA area’s rehousing system. Mayor Karen Bass, Councilmember Curren Price and Metro Deputy CEO Sharon Gookin joined LAHSA CEO Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum to tour the 24,000-square-foot building that has already assisted over 200 people.   

“LAHSA’s Welcome Navigation Center is a new and bold solution that improves the rehousing process by addressing multiple hurdles simultaneously,” said LAHSA CEO Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum. “Compromised health conditions, lack of transportation, and inadequate documentation make it impossible for our unsheltered neighbors to start their housing application process. Through this pilot program, LAHSA and its partners provide critical services under one central location to expedite their journey home.”

Located in the South Park neighborhood, the Welcome Navigation Center is a 41-room, 24,000-square-foot facility with the capacity to temporarily house 80 people. Once inside, community and county partners provide mental and physical health care, employment assistance, and document readiness. System navigators also assist with documentation and transportation to appointments.  

 Other key features of the Welcome Navigation Center include:

  • Three healthy meals daily
  • Community hall
  • Outdoor patio
  • Laundry room
  • Pet relief area

“Confronting the homelessness crisis means pursuing innovative solutions that will help people more quickly and save lives,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “I want to commend Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum for leading the development of this initiative to urgently bring more people inside from the streets to be connected with services, prepare them to move to permanent housing and prevent them from returning to the streets. We will continue to work together across the City, County, Metro and beyond to continue treating homelessness as the crisis we know that it is. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts that these services and the facility will have for unhoused Angelenos.”

The purpose of LAHSA’s new pilot is to prepare our unhoused neighbors for permanent housing within 30 days. After the 30-day period expires, participants may be given an extension or transferred to alternative interim housing while still receiving services and housing-related support. Relocating participants allows LAHSA to maintain a steady flow of clients through the Welcome Navigation Center and ensure people remain inside. Additionally, LAHSA will conduct outreach to the local community to engage with people experiencing homelessness near the Welcome Navigation Center.

"The Welcome Navigation Center sets a new standard for faster, more efficient procedures and demonstrates unwavering support for vulnerable Angelenos seeking a place to call home,” said Council Member Curren Price. “It highlights our commitment to meeting our unhoused neighbors with empathy and urgency, reinforcing that Los Angeles will never leave anyone behind."

The Welcome Navigation Center is part of LAHSA’s more hands-on approach to addressing unsheltered homelessness by speeding up the housing process.  It is built upon lessons learned from Project Roomkey, and other LAHSA-established programs that are improving the efficiency of our rehousing system.

In addition, LAHSA has teamed up with Metro to provide spaces for our unsheltered neighbors in the public transit system near the Welcome Navigation Center.

“Metro sees firsthand the profound impact that LA’s unhoused crisis has on our community with our system having become an unintended shelter for far too many individuals seeking refuge from the streets,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Having these 25 shelter beds available 24/7 at LAHSA’s Welcome Navigation Center will be a tremendous help to ensure the unhoused we encounter on our system have a safe place to stay and get connected to the services they need no matter the time of day, something that is especially important in the middle of the night when many of our trains and buses go out of service. This partnership was only possible because of collaboration, and I’d like to thank LAHSA, CEO-HI, and our Metro Homeless Outreach and Strategic Planning staff for their work to make this important resource a reality.”

The pilot program is showing early signs of success. Since its creation last December, more than 200 people have received help from the center. To date, LAHSA has handed 12 participants keys to their permanent homes. Another 52 people are document-ready and have been relocated to interim housing while their permanent home is assigned.

LAHSA’s Welcome Navigation Center is a step forward in LAHSA’s endeavor to address homelessness in LA County better. If successful, LAHSA plans to replicate the Welcome Navigation Center across the county.