City of Wilmington's New Bridge Home

City of Wilmington's New Bridge Home


This is the new Bridge Home that is located in the City of Wilmington.  A Bridge Home is addressing the homeless problem, by placing unhoused people with housing to serve as a 'bridge' to permanent housing.  This location has 100 beds. This is an example of public private partnerships using Proposition HHH funds.  City owned property was the answer.  The public....'the community and a working group made up of local community leaders, were proactive in having a holistic dialogue to seek out locations to recommend to make this happen. I am a member of the CD15 working group.  Harbor Interfaith and the United Way were also instrumental in the community partnership. Within Councilman Buscaino's District 15, this is one of three Bridge Homes in operation.  We are proud to see this come to life. WATCH the YouTube video about Bridge below:

See the video of Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Pro Tempore Joe Buscaino discussing Bridge Home on Facebook.


Below is an article about Bridge Home from the Daily Breeze:Daily Breeze Article Bridge HomeCouncil President Pro Tempore Joe Buscaino, chats with a resident at the Bridge Home shelter, in Wilmington on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

 | dlittlejohn [at] and  | hlee [at] | from the Daily Breeze, Link to the Daily Breeze article PUBLISHED: July 28, 2020 at 6:39 p.m. | UPDATED: July 29, 2020 at 3:52 p.m.

After two years, the Harbor Area has reached a milestone in its effort to reduce — or, possibly one day eliminate — homelessness.

Now, the test will come to see if it all delivers.

Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city officials held a tour of the new A Bridge Home temporary shelter in Wilmington on Tuesday, July 28, to celebrate its opening and chat with residents. The shelter, on Eubank Avenue, opened three weeks ago, the same time as a similar shelter in San Pedro. But Tuesday provided the first public look at the Wilmington shelter, which represents yet another step in the city’s effort to reduce homelessness — particularly in the Harbor Area, where encampments have grown.

Both the San Pedro and Wilmington temporary shelters have 100 beds each. The San Pedro shelter, which opened earlier this month and was LA’s 16th A Bridge Home facility,  currently has 79 residents and the Wilmington one is half full; both are expected to soon be at capacity. A storage facility at the LAPD’s Harbor Division station is also operating and a 40-bed county-run shelter that opened in San Pedro earlier this year remains full.

“We now have 240 beds in three new shelters,”  said Tahia Hayslet, executive director of Harbor Interfaith Services, which oversees both of the local Bridge Home shelters. “There are a lot more people to be housed, but we’re hoping now that we have centralized, on-site case management, we can move people from bridge housing to permanent housing.”

But that goal faces challenges. Some Bridge Home shelter residents, for example, continue visiting their old tents, said LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, whose 15th District covers both Harbor Area shelters and a third one in Watts.

“It’s the tale of two residences,” Buscaino said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “We’ve got to put a stop to that.

“We are demanding personal accountability of these individuals,” he added. “They have to make up their mind.”

But researchers have found that the adjustment from the streets to shelters takes time and often involves residents moving back and forth from their former “homes” to the shelter.

Leading this week’s tour of the Wilmington shelter for the mayor and city staff was Erik Miller, director of U.S. VETS — Long Beach, the agency that is overseeing the facility in partnership with Harbor Interfaith Services.

Garcetti launched the A Bridge Home project two years ago to expedite the creation of temporary shelters throughout Los Angeles city, which joins the county in dealing with a persistently high population of people who are homeless. But the process has taken longer and cost more — about $5 million each — than anticipated.

Still, the shelters offer individual pods with beds, locked storage and electrical outlets, and provide case workers to help residents with addiction, mental and physical health disabilities, among other issues, and prepare them to move to permanent supportive housing. The temporary A Bridge Home shelters will remain operational for three years.

Getting residents inside the shelter, though, has been complicated because of the coronavirus pandemic, which, among other problems, caused a four-month stoppage of the Care Plus cleanup services. That left tents and other items abandoned on the streets as homeless individuals move into the temporary shelters. The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to consider resuming the program on Wednesday, July 30.

San Pedro and Wilmington, though, must also wait until 30 days after a shelter opens — Aug. 7 — to begin clearing sidewalks of property, Buscaino said.

Once the neighborhoods get the OK, the councilmember added, it will be “all hands on deck.”

Clearing the property, and taking away the urge for folks to return there, is part of the strategy to solve the homeless crisis, which remains — even amid the pandemic — a major public health challenge.

More people who were homeless, for example, died on the streets in 2019 than in previous years, Buscaino, a former LAPD officer, said.

“I’m anxious, to be honest,” Buscaino said. “This is the most trying issue I’ve ever faced as a police officer, as a council member and as a resident.”

Many people, of course, are excited about the chance to get off the streets.

Take Lydia Miles, 72, who has been homeless for two years on San Pedro’s Beacon Street but is now in the new Wilmington Bridge Home shelter.

“I love it here,” she said on Tuesday. “God works in mysterious ways and he’s blessed me with this wonderful place. They have showers, plenty of bathrooms, three hot meals a day and a laundry room.”

A friend of hers, who works at Doors of Hope women’s mission in Wilmington, recommended the new shelter to her. Miles said she came on the second day it opened and was in a warm bed that night.

Miles said she will work on persuading other folks who are skeptical of coming to the shelter to give the place a chance.

“God gave me a helping hand when I needed it most,” she said. “I want to do the same for others.”

Note: The original version of this article did not indicate that U.S. VETS in Long Beach is the agency that is overseeing the Wilmington shelter, in conjunction with Harbor Interfaith Services. 

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