By Sue Favor
SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The grand opening of two new apartment complexes over a two-day period last week has created new housing options for the homeless in Council District 9.
City Councilman Curren Price was on hand for the grand opening of the area’s first “A Bridge Home” shelter for families May 11. The next day he saw the ribbon cutting of the RISE Apartments — a permanent housing facility for homeless veterans. Both projects stem from Proposition HHH, which voters approved in 2016 to fund 10,000 new units of supportive housing for the homeless.
The Bridge Home complex at 28th and Hope streets is the first of its kind in the district, and is named Lillian Mobley Family Housing, after the late longtime educator. It can house up to 100 people, and features an outdoor area, a community room and laundry facilities.
Residents will have access to case management services that include job training, life-skill classes and behavioral health assistance, with the goal of helping the transition to permanent supportive housing.
According to Price’s office, the district has the second-highest homeless count in the city. He has approved the construction of more than 2,000 units, with 900 more opening by the end of 2022. It is a step toward curbing an issue, which has spiraled out of control the last few years, as more than 66,000 in Los Angeles County are living on the streets.
“Los Angeles is facing an unprecedented housing crisis unlike anything we have ever seen,” Price said. “Rising rents and the high cost of living … has created unimaginable hardships for our neighbors, not to mention the devastation the (COVID-19) pandemic has caused.”
Price said it was fitting that the new Bridge Home facility is named after Mobley, who he called “a legendary pillar” of the city.
“Mother Mobley, as many of us lovingly called her, was a mentor to not only myself, but to countless others,” Price said. “She devoted her life to advocacy, and she cultivated a lifelong pursuit in helping instill hope and power into under-served and disenfranchised communities.”
The RISE project, at 40th and Figueroa streets, is a $32 million project that is open to veterans earning 30-50% of the area median income, who are transitioning to permanent housing. The five-story building features 56 studio units, a community room, a residential courtyard, roof terraces, bike storage, covered parking, onsite management and a laundry room. There are three offices for supportive and case management services on site.
Also on the property is 3,400 square feet of commercial office space, which will be used for training for jobs and entrepreneurship.
“While there is no shortage of need in our communities, these upcoming developments create life-changing opportunities for our most vulnerable, including our veterans that will reside at RISE where they will receive the care, attention and support to lift them up to create a more promising future,” Price said.
Just a few days before the openings, Price presided at the groundbreaking of the Dolores Huerta Apartments, at 52nd and Figueroa streets. The project, named after the local civil rights leader — who was in attendance — is part of a high-speed, low-cost development model designed to be available relatively quickly. The 40-unit complex is scheduled to open this fall.
Price reaffirmed his commitment to ending homelessness, which he said is his top priority after reopening after the pandemic.
“With 550 families suffering from the condition of homelessness on the streets of District 9, we have so much more work to do to bring them all indoors,” he said.
Sue Favor is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers, who covers South Los Angeles. She can be reached at email@example.com.