The City of West Hollywood is committed to providing comprehensive assistance to people who are experiencing homelessness in the City. The City’s Homeless Initiative addresses homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response and works in close partnership with the City’s contracted and collaborative nonprofit social services providers, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, and Los Angeles County agencies.
In December 2021, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood gave authorization to City staff to apply for a Project Homekey grant from the State of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development. Homekey is an innovative partnership between Los Angeles County and the State of California to purchase and rehabilitate hotels and motels for interim housing. The City’s Homekey application envisions the purchase of the Holloway Motel, located at 8465 Santa Monica Boulevard to be updated, rehabilitated, and operated as an interim housing site for people who are experiencing homelessness to move off the streets with case management and supportive services, with the goal of identifying and securing permanent housing.
Homekey funding, if approved, will provide a multi-million investment to assist in realizing this project. The West Hollywood City Council has additionally approved an allocation of $2.8 million from the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund to meet the required City match for operations and services if a Homekey grant is awarded. Interim housing would typically provide a stay of up to 90 days to stabilize community members and assist them with getting the necessary care and resources to find permanent housing. The project plans would call for considerable physical improvements to the site and operations would include appropriate security measures and 24/7 onsite staff.
A survey conducted of West Hollywood residents in November 2021 by FM3 Research, found that 90 percent of respondents ranked homelessness as a very or somewhat serious issue (72 percent “very serious” and 18 percent “somewhat serious”) making this one of the most significant issues of concern for the community. The survey also found strong support among residents for interventions to address homelessness. Of those surveyed, 79 percent of respondents supported increasing the prioritization of “Supportive Housing, including homeless services, within City limits” (52 percent “much more of a priority” and 27 percent “somewhat more of a priority”). 76 percent of respondents supported increasing prioritization of “City-funded temporary shelter beds and homeless services provided within City limits,” (50 percent “much more of a priority” and 26 percent “somewhat more of a priority”).
The work of the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative is established in part in the 2018 “Five-Year Plan to Address Homelessness in Our Community.” In partnership with the community, and with funding support from LA County Measure H, the plan identifies seven specific goals – and key actions to reach these goals – based on feedback from the West Hollywood community and stakeholders:
Goal #1: Provide support and resources to City staff and contractors in responding appropriately, safely, and effectively to persons who are experiencing homelessness in West Hollywood.
Goal #2: Support businesses and residents in responding appropriately, safely, and effectively to persons who are experiencing homelessness in West Hollywood.
Goal #3: Establish bridge housing and day center facilities in West Hollywood to serve people who are homeless in the City.
Goal #4: Continue the City’s support for the Rapid Re-Housing program to prevent homelessness among West Hollywood residents.
Goal #5: Increase the number of supportive housing, special needs housing, and other permanent housing options in West Hollywood for people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness.
Goal #6: Strengthen partnerships with other cities and with nonprofit organizations to support regional and individualized solutions to homelessness.
Goal #7: Prevent homelessness among West Hollywood residents, especially seniors, individuals living with disabilities, and vulnerable families.
Making strides toward meeting the goals of West Hollywood’s Five-Year Plan remains critically important in directing the local response to homelessness and a successful Homekey grant from the State of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development to adapt the Holloway Motel into an interim housing site would be a significant step.
In the coming weeks, City staff anticipates an update regarding the status of the Homekey application, as well as progress in the City’s efforts to acquire the site. If successful in both areas, the City will begin a community engagement process to collect feedback and input from residents and businesses regarding the project.
The West Hollywood Homeless Initiative seeks to effectively address homelessness. If you are concerned about a community member who is homeless, call the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative Concern Line at (323) 848-6590. If your concern requires time-sensitive assistance during nights or weekends, please call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850.
For more information about the Homeless Initiative, please contact Corri Planck, City of West Hollywood Strategic Initiatives Manager, at (323) 848-6430 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/homeless. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.