New to the Los Angeles Winter Shelter Program: Motel Vouchers
In the past, when the weather turned cold and wet, people living on the streets had two choices: hide or go to one of the winter shelters spread across Los Angeles County.
This year, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is offering a third choice: a good motel. Anyone who cannot make it to one of the shelters that opened on November 1 or cannot tolerate the environment of the shelter can get a motel room for the night.
The winter shelter program has shrunk from 11 sites last year to just five this year. The money saved will pay for 142 vouchers per day in the city of Los Angeles and 367 for the rest of the county.
Stephen David Simon, acting executive director of LAHSA, said the change “addresses the number of fixed beds that have often sat unused for many nights and redirects those resources to where extreme weather makes staying on the streets most untenable. “.
What LAHSA calls its augmented winter shelter program will only take effect under the most severe conditions, when:
- The National Weather Service predicts three days of daytime low temperatures accompanied by an overnight wind chill of 32 degrees or less.
- A forecast of 1 inch of rain in 24 hours.
- A forecast for three consecutive days of 1 to 4 inches of rain or more accompanied by temperatures at or below 50 degrees.
- The National Weather Service issues a flood watch or warning.
- Other undefined conditions deemed by officials to be of critical need.
Under these conditions, the county will take voucher requests through its 211 system. 211 operators can arrange a ride-sharing service to pick up and drop off callers and make motel reservations.
Beneficiaries can use the vouchers anywhere, but LAHSA also has a list of motels that have agreed to make rooms available.
Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles jointly fund the shelters. LAHSA contracts with non-profit service providers to operate them.
This year the refuges will be at 45150 60e St.W. in Lancaster; 12426, boul. Whittier in Whittier and in Los Angeles at the following addresses: 8311 S. Western Ave. ; 222 E.25e St. and 2155 S. West View St.