Culver City Observer -

Culver City Receives $26.6 Million Homekey Grant to Convert Motels into Housing for the Homeless

 

March 24, 2022



Culver City was recently awarded a $26.6 million Project Homekey grant from the State of California for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and operation of two motels on Sepulveda Boulevard.

Combined, the motel repurpose projects will create 39 interim housing units for people experiencing homelessness and 37 permanent supportive housing units for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, said city officials this week.

Project Homekey is a statewide program, administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), to rapidly expand housing for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness through a variety of housing types, including motel repurposing. To date, Project Homekey has funded 120 projects, created 5,911 units, and housed 8,264 individuals around the state, according to the Homekey program’s website.

Civic officials said Culver City is on track to complete ownership and begin project construction at 3868 and 3900 Sepulveda Blvd. These projects take an innovative approach to streamlining housing and social services by co-locating both interim housing and longer-term supportive housing next to each other. These two new housing facilities are scheduled to be completed and open by the end of 2022.

Last month the Culver City Council approved zoning changes to allow for the conversion of the two motels into emergency homeless shelters and transitional housing in conjunction with the city's grant application for the Project Homekey.

“Repurposing these two motels is a critical part of Culver City’s overall plan for addressing homelessness,” said Culver City Mayor Daniel Lee. “While the root causes of homelessness are tied to systemic inequities, housing is a fundamental and core solution that can meaningfully address homelessness by providing a safe place indoors where people can find wrap around services, healing, and stabilization. While housing 76 of our neighbors through Project Homekey does not end the problem, it marks our notable progress.”

Councilmember Alex Fisch added: “I am thrilled. We have been working on this for more than four years.”

The 2020 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Point-In-Time Count showed a 12.7% increase in homelessness in the Los Angeles County region. In 2021, Culver City’s own internal Homeless Count reflected an increase of 35% in homelessness since 2020.

Interim housing will provide 39 rooms for unhoused households to stay for up to 90 days, with extensions granted based on resident need. In addition to meals, linen and laundry services, and security, residents will have access to social services, including an on-site case manager, 24/7 health monitoring, and mental health clinicians.

Longer-term supportive housing will provide 37 rooms for households experiencing chronic homelessness for a length of time determined by resident need and choice. The goal of supportive housing is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where formerly unhoused individuals can transition into independent community living. In assisting residents in their transition from homelessness to permanent housing, the supportive services provider at the facilities will employ a “whatever it takes” approach, defined as “collaborative, person-centered, trauma-informed, housing first, no-wrong-door, and low barrier.”

Exodus Recovery will serve as the lead operator and supportive service provider for the two new housing facilities. Exodus Recovery has over 35 years of experience developing, implementing, and operating innovative behavioral, health, and substance use disorder services and programs throughout the state. Exodus will provide alternative crisis response services, outreach and engagement, clinical mental health case management, substance abuse and sobering services, tenancy support, housing navigation, bridge housing administration, and property management for the sites.

Project Homekey is a partnership between Los Angeles County and California to purchase and rehabilitate hotels and motels and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing homelessness. It is also supported by $1.2 billion grant from the federal government.

 

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