City Hall held an information session on Tuesday afternoon to talk to residents about the controversial plan to convert the Holloway Motel in West Hollywood to transitional housing for the homeless.
The city was awarded nearly $6 million from the federal government to address the homelessness crisis.
The facility will not be a homeless shelter, Mayor Lauren Meister and other city staff members were quick to clarify.
A resident named Joseph spoke first, immediately touching on the safety aspect.
“My concern, I think, is shared by a lot of residents,” he said. “We live in the city and the surrounding city of Los Angeles. We’ve let go of armed Sheriffs, and hired Boy Scouts on bicycles to take their place/. So, what’s gonna be done to keep the residents of this Hollywood safe? Because it’s pretty common knowledge that with more homelessness comes more crime. And the city’s already not very safe.”
“I understand your concerns about security,” Meister replied. “And I think that one of the good things about this project is that we’ll actually have security around this project as compared to the Holloway Motel, which as a longtime resident I can tell you every time I walk past, it was pretty sketchy.So my hope is that it actually makes the area safer and more secure and that we have more control over the general area.”
“If you’ve been following homelessness in Los Angeles County, you know the biggest problem is finding an apartment for someone to move into. And it also takes about two to three months of paperwork, getting it all in order to get a housing voucher and then find an apartment and move in. So during that time, you don’t want somebody who’s ready to move into an apartment still sitting in a tent out on the street or a box. So they will have the opportunity to move into these small hotel rooms.”
Laura Duncan of Asencia, which will run the facility, spoke about transition time. While everyone moves at their own pace, she said the more successful cases are of tenants who are “actively working towards becoming housed and doing everything you need to do to make that happen”
“We want it to be comfortable for its purpose. But not so comfortable that people just stay there for years.”
Residents worried that the transitional facility would attract encampments.
“We can tell right away when an encampment starts and we are on it. I had that happen two weeks ago, where all of a sudden it was a bunch of furniture and I immediately got a hold of the district and and it was gone within two days. So we don’t allow that to happen,” Duncan said.
Duncan also addressed drug use by the residents.
“We will reserve the right to do searches visible searches based on reasonable suspicion. We do not drug test. So, we may monitor and enforce rules based on behavior, but we don’t allow drug use activities or paraphernalia on site. That would be a way that somebody would compromise their ability to be in the program. I can tell you now that sometimes people who use and they come in and they know that he’s OK, we have other people who aren’t on anything that can’t behave well enough. We’re not planning on having active drug use of cells and possession.”
They are human beings and it’s officially winter and I’m feeling the cold nights Having shelter & a toilet & running water, is basic. They are not turning it into a permanent homeless shelter. The County of LA is pretty smart to fill currently empty motel rooms for homeless. It’s fast, cheap and for those who they shouldn’t be treated as well as a dog, they will be off the sidewalks so you won’t see or smell them There are very few motel rooms in WeHo. There has to be a limit. BUT WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE THERE IS ALREADY… Read more »
Speak to an expert on drug use, addiction and the effect that fentanyl brings to a city.
My point to Joseph…..you mean the only folks you need to be safe from are the homeless? REALLY? Are you that naive?
Well, as mentioned, the majority of our homeless do not appear to be those that want permanent housing. Many if not most are either mentally ill, drug addicted or both so transitional housing is not what we need. We need mental health and drug treatment facilities and these facilities should not be located here. I would like to live in Bel Air but guess what I can’t afford it!!!! Why not locate these facilities in affordable neighborhoods not in prime center city locations. It makes absolutely NO SENSE!
West Hollywood taxpayers would be paying ongoing costs for this (as well as seeing a loss of tax revenue from the motel).
What percentage of the homeless living in this building would come from the West Hollywood homeless population vs. coming from other municipalities?
If the building were to include homeless coming from other municipalities, the result would be an increase, not a decrease, in the homeless population in our city.
Homelessness in America is a manufactured crisis. Our leaders did this!
Homelessness in California began when Gov. Pat Brown, at the end of his last term in office, and the Assembly passed a law granting civil rights to the adult wards of the state who functioned well only when they were on medication, many of whom were also housed by the state and were medicated for severe mental illness. These people were released on their own and it was assumed they could be trusted to continue on their medications. The new Governor Ronald Reagan had no choice but to sign the bill, although he was opposed to it. Later, even former… Read more »
Focusing our attention and money on people who contribute nothing, who only detract, who live solely for themselves, and who are a danger to the rest of us is insane!
The homeless are enemies of society! They are murderous vagrants who have taken over our country and give nothing back.
Our pity for them does not outweigh our obligation to each other; to the defenseless, the children, women who work alone in stores, to every citizen who contributes, who pays taxes, who build things, ….. not just destroy them.
I think that even Trump may care more about the homeless than you. Wouldn’t it be ironic if through no fault of your own, you lost your job and couldn’t find another or your financial resources became depleted and then you find yourself homeless. A touch of Karma, perhaps?
People like the ones you’re describing know enough to take advantage of resources available and land on their feet fairly quickly. There is no reason to be chronically on the street long term.
When you have experience attempting to access those services, please share. There are services – true – but the hoops that must be jumped through to secure them are staggering. Only the most privileged would buy into the idea that welfare is a “handout” – have some grace and gratitude that you are this ignorant instead of spewing such bile. BTW – I don’t want this place in my neighborhood either and I have lost all patience navigating the help-resistant parasites on our streets and in our parks, but I have witnessed firsthand how difficult it is for the population… Read more »
I never said that welfare is a handout and, yes, as with all things run by the government I don’t doubt there are are a lot of hoops to jump through, but some people apply the same effort they would to a 40 hour work week and get it done. They don’t sleep on the sidewalk for months or years waiting for their situation to change. But there are places to sleep, shower and eat all over LA for every one of the people we see on the streets of WeHo; they just don’t want to go there. They like… Read more »
Yours is compassion without logic!
It is misguided compassion. Apply more compassion to the victims of the homeless, who are homeless because that’s what they want and they don’t care how their activities affect the rest of us who live our lives responsibly.
give us all a break- HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW THEY LIVE SOLELY FOR THEMSELVES??? LOL- look around- that’s half the men YOU’VE dated in Weho!
Perhaps the City could also build a Recycling Facility for Others adjacent to this proposal. That way the homeless could be employed and the center of West Hollywood could be transformed into an industrial site.
The reason these people are allowed to stay in and ruin our cities is because that’s where the woke hand-holders are, who just throw lots of other people’s money at them, which is all wasted of course. Rural communities have zero tolerance for this. All efforts should be concentrated on getting them out of the comfortable cities, away from the taxpayers, and into the cold and hot undesirable uncomfortable areas they don’t want to be in. If people want the luxury of being in a civilized city, they need to behave, work and pay their own way.
Jim Morrison–and anybody with two brain cells to rub together–is probably somewhere spinning from the sheer ridiculousness of this misguided idea.
You’re thinking of the Alta Cienega- that is not the one The Holloway Motel is just down the street. Someone wrote an article on here saying it was the Alta Cienega purchased to house the homeless. She was wrong
Unfortunately, non of the individuals we see living on the streets of West Hollywood will be served by this hotel.
Thank you for making the real point here. The residents of West Hollywood will not benefit in a single way from this expense.