The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), has announced that the majority of its 2019-2020 winter shelter portfolio had begun operations throughout Los Angeles County. These emergency shelters offer 1057 beds at 14 sites to help people experiencing homelessness es-cape winter weather. These beds will be available through March 31, 2020. An additional 175 beds at two more locations will become available in the near future.
“Our winter shelter portfolio takes over the work the work started last week to provide people experiencing homelessness a place to stay during the inclement weather,” said LAHSA Executive Director, Peter Lynn. “Thank you to the City and the County of Los Angeles for the actions they have taken to provide a warm haven for thousands of our unsheltered homeless population this winter.”
Last week, LAHSA announced that several winter shelter sites would open early to offer a place to escape inclement weather. They will remain open throughout the winter shelter season.
In addition, the City and the County of Los Angeles opened combined 700 augmented winter shelter beds. Now that the Winter Shelter Program is operational, these augmented sites will close.
The Winter Shelter Program consists of several temporary emergency shelters that provide a warm place to sleep, food, access to supportive services, and housing assistance to homeless neighbors.
The County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles provide LAHSA with the funding necessary to administer the Winter Shelter Program. LAHSA contracts with several non-profit service providers to operate emergency shelters at multiple locations throughout Los Angeles County.
“I know how crucial, and sometimes life-saving, it can be for people experiencing homelessness to come in from the cold to eat a hot meal and sleep in a warm bed,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “I’m pleased that our Winter Shelters are opening now, but I am grateful that this Board, in approving my amendment earlier this week, had the foresight to activate Winter Shelters earlier in future years when the weather demands it.”
The Winter Shelter Program will operate through March 31. During the winter shelter season, each shelter will open at 5 and close at 7 a.m.
Winter Shelters can operate 24 hours-a-day during certain inclement weather conditions, including when:
The 7-day weather forecast predicts two consecutive days when the high temperature will be below 50°, or the nightly lows are below 40°.
The 7-day weather forecast predicts 50% or greater chance of rain for one or more days where rainfall will be over half an inch.
The National Weather Service forecast predicts three days of low temperatures of 32° or less.
The National Weather Service forecasts at least one inch of rain within 24 hours.
The National Weather Service forecasts three consecutive days of at least a quarter-inch of rain accompanied by high temperatures at 50° or below.
Shelter providers determine that there is a need to extend their hours based on local weather conditions.
The Winter Shelters can operate on a 24-hour basis for 21 days during the Winter Shelter sea-son. After that period has been exhausted, operators can continue to operate 24 hours-a-day at their own expense.
Most winter shelter sites will provide people experiencing homelessness transportation to their sites.
Homeless residents who want a bed at a Winter Shelter Program site must use designated shuttles to access a Winter Shelter Program site. Any homeless residents who have questions about the Winter Shelter Program should call the Winter Shelter Hotline at 1(800) 548-6047. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit www.lahsa.org.
Submitted by Ahmad Chapman, Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency, (