$2.7 Million Going Toward Skid Row Sanitation and Hygiene Programs

Earlier this month the Los Angeles City Council announced new funding for homeless services in Downtown’s Skid Row.

A motion, approved on June 14, allocates a total of $2.7 million from the $20 million given to the city in funds from the state’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (or HEAP) for multiple uses in the neighborhood . The largest amount, $779,000 would go to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to fund two engagement teams that would operate on Skid Row for two years, helping to connect homeless individuals to resources.

Most of the money is directed at hygiene and sanitation. The People Concern will receive $750,000 to expand toilet and shower services at 526 S. San Pedro St. The funds will allow the nonprofit to provide 24-hours services; the wellness center is currently open 16 hours a day. A quarter of a million dollars would add at least five drinking fountains, set up adjacent to automatic public toilets. In addition, $266,000 is allocated to expand bathroom access at St. Vincent de Paul’s Skid Row location for two years and $593,250 will go forward improving the building at 538 S. San Pedro St., which will become the new home for “The Bin,” a warehouse full of storage bins where homeless individuals can store their property. The Bin is expected to open at its new home by the end of year, per Council District 14.

Also on June 14, Huizar introduced two motions, one calling for another $2.7 million in HEAP funds to go toward services on Skid Row, and to relocate the Skid Row Community ReFresh Spot, a 24-hour hygiene center offering toilets, showers and washing equipment. The space is currently located at 557 Crocker St. but will close soon when the Weingart Center develops the site into permanent supportive housing. Those motions are still pending a decision from the City Council.

nicholas@downtownnews.com