“A Bridge Home puts Angelenos on a path out of homelessness and into supportive housing.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti
A Plan to End Homelessness
Los Angeles is uniting to end the greatest moral and humanitarian crisis of our time. Homelessness will not be solved overnight — but the City and County of L.A. are working more closely together than ever to bring unsheltered Angelenos back inside with homes, healing, and hope.
People sleeping on the streets tonight can’t wait for new housing to become available, but existing shelter beds in Los Angeles simply do not meet the growing need. More than 25,000 of our homeless neighbors — from the streets of Koreatown to the banks of the L.A. River — will not have access to a bed tonight.
Measure H is generating $355 million each year to provide a wide range of services to help people in desperate need. Proposition HHH is giving the City $1.2 billion to build thousands units of supportive housing over the next decade — units that will be paired with those same services, so that unsheltered Angelenos can go home for good.
But while we ramp up the work of building those permanent units, we must be equally impatient about finding safe places to sleep for people who are on the streets now. That’s why Mayor Garcetti has launched a new plan called A Bridge Home — to give homeless Angelenos in every neighborhood a refuge in the community they already know and love, until they can be connected with a permanent home.
A BRIDGE HOME
In April 2018, Mayor Garcetti and the City Council declared an emergency shelter crisis and took advantage of a new state law that enables cities to construct bridge housing — faster than ever before — on any land owned or leased by the City.
To expedite construction, the Mayor’s 2018-19 budget includes a $20 million fund to construct emergency bridge housing city-wide, which is equally available to each Council District. To receive increased sanitation funding for the area, each Councilmember must identify a site or building adjacent to a high-density homeless population, and create emergency bridge housing.
In total, the Mayor’s budget includes more than $450 million in supportive housing, bridge housing, services, and facilities to help homeless Angelenos find their way off the streets and under a roof. That represents a 147% increase over last year.
The Mayor also fought for — and won — funding from the state’s budget surplus to help cities across California find, build, and expand housing for their homeless populations. Thanks to that effort, Los Angeles alone will receive $166 million from the state to bring our unhoused neighbors indoors.
In May, Mayor Garcetti signed an Executive Directive that requires City departments to fast-track temporary shelter projects from application to construction, allowing those that meet legal and environmental standards to open their doors in as little as 32 weeks. The City will guide these projects from start to finish.
Homeless Ends One Interaction at a Time
In the months leading up to new bridge housing opening, the County will direct unprecedented outreach, mental health, career, and addiction support services to nearby encampments to help prepare homeless Angelenos to move indoors.
Keeping Our Neighborhoods Clean
After the new bridge housing sites open their doors, City Sanitation teams will work to restore spaces that were previously encampment sites into safe, clean, public passageways.
On a Path to a Permanent Home
Bridge housing will remain standing for three years — enough time for the City to construct supportive housing for the Angelenos living in them. The supportive housing will be furnished with on-site security, mental health, employment, addiction, housing placement services, and wellness resources.
El Pueblo is the birthplace of Los Angeles — a community where 44 settlers of Native American, African, and European heritage journeyed more than 1,000 miles across the desert to establish a farming settlement in 1781.
Today, El Pueblo is a historic monument, the location of the world-famous Olvera Street marketplace, and a place where unsheltered Angelenos regularly gather in their desperate search for a safe place to sleep.
The City of Los Angeles is building on the legacy of El Pueblo as a welcoming place where people from all walks of life can make a fresh start. New temporary bridge housing for homeless Angelenos will be available in El Pueblo for three years, serve an existing homeless population, and offer intensive case management services — from mental health to drug and alcohol treatment — that are carefully tailored to help homeless Angelenos stabilize, begin rebuilding their lives, and move into permanent housing as quickly as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was my neighborhood selected for bridge housing?
If we’re going to end homelessness, we need to create solutions in every community — which is why the Mayor’s budget funds temporary bridge housing in all 15 Council Districts. Each bridge housing site will be selected based on its proximity to dense homeless encampments. These sites are specifically designed to serve the homeless population that already lives in your community, and will help clean up encampments in your neighborhood. Every Council District that builds temporary bridge housing will receive additional sanitation funds to restore spaces that were previously encampment sites into safe, clean, public passageways.
Who is going to live in the new housing?
The City is deploying teams of outreach workers to engage homeless Angelenos who live around the A Bridge Home site to ensure that people moving into the temporary bridge housing are already residents of the neighborhood. The only qualification for people to move in is their proximity to the site. Each site is specifically designed to support the needs of the population nearby — whether they are women, men, or senior citizens. Everyone will have their housing needs assessed as they come on site, and their case manager will work with them to move them into a more permanent solution.
Will A Bridge Home bring homeless people into my neighborhood?
No. This temporary bridge housing is designed specifically to serve people who live in encampments in the community surrounding the site, who will be identified during a period of outreach. The City is bringing in additional sanitation and enforcement services to ensure that the streets surrounding the sites remain safe and clean.
How are you deciding where to put the bridge housing?
The City is primarily looking at lots it already owns — that are at least 20,000 square feet in size and located near dense homeless encampments. But before a site is officially chosen, it is assessed by engineers to ensure that it’s an appropriate place to put temporary housing, and that it’s equipped with the necessary water, power, and sewage connections.
What will the sites look like?
Each Council District is committed to creating a site that reflects the spirit and aesthetic of the neighborhood where it stands. They will be designed to incorporate the input of service providers, to optimize access to services, and create a comfortable community space that helps clients stabilize and get back on their feet. The structures themselves will be trailers or platformed spaces covered in canvas.
How long will they be open?
What are the hours of operation for A Bridge Home sites?
The sites are operated 24 hours a day; 7 days a week, with staff and security on site at all times.
How long do you expect people to stay in the bridge housing?
Our goal is to move people out of the shelters and into more permanent housing as quickly as possible — meaning that beds could turn over as many as four times in a year. But how long someone stays in the temporary bridge housing is based on their need. The sites will be staffed with housing navigators, mental health professionals, and anti-addiction specialists who will help clients get back on their feet as quickly as possible. But we won’t ask anyone to leave before they’re stable.
Will our neighborhood be less safe with this bridge housing?
No. All of the sites will be fully staffed with 24/7 on-site security, and City staff will closely monitor each site to help ensure safety and cleanliness. Our County partners are ramping up the deployment of outreach workers and supportive services to local homeless residents, to help them transition into the temporary bridge housing, and later into permanent homes. With the City’s additional funding for sanitation services, existing encampments will be converted into clean, safe public spaces for all residents to enjoy.
Are you going to have services on site?
Yes! The City and County have partnered to fund services for all residents of A Bridge Home sites that will help people move out of the bridge housing and into permanent housing as quickly as possible. Each resident will have a case manager, as well as mental health, housing, and substance abuse support — not to mention three meals a day, storage, a place for pets, and 24/7 security.
Are residents of A Bridge Home sites required to be sober?
No. Entry to the site is determined by how close someone’s tent is to the site — not whether they’re sober. However, each site will be fully equipped with mental health and anti-addiction specialists who will help new residents start on the path to sobriety.
How are you going to make sure the encampments don’t come back?
The City is committed to making sure that the streets surrounding new A Bridge Home sites stay safe and clean. Homeless Angelenos will still be able to put up their tents between the hours of 9pm and 6am, but during the daytime, the City is establishing special enforcement zones to ensure that tents are taken down.
Are you criminalizing homelessness?
This effort is in no way intended to criminalize people who live on the streets. We cannot — and will not — arrest our way out of the homelessness crisis. People in desperate need of help should not be punished for their circumstances. The City’s priority is bringing people indoors — not issuing citations. However, if homeless residents choose not to take down their tents during the daytime, and receive citations as a result, the Mayor’s Office will connect them with the HEART program, which gives homeless Angelenos the option of doing community service or participating in substance abuse counseling as alternatives to paying fines.
This doesn’t sound like a permanent solution. What about everyone who doesn’t get into A Bridge Home site?
Thanks to the voters of L.A., the City is getting to work building thousands of units of supportive housing for our most vulnerable homeless neighbors over the next decade. But people who are living on the streets tonight can’t wait for new housing to come online. They need help now. That’s why A Bridge Home is helping connect people to permanent solutions today.
How else can I help my homeless neighbors?
No one can do everything to solve homelessness, but everyone can do something. The most important thing you can do is say “yes” to supportive housing and bridge housing in your community, and help educate your neighbors about the critical importance of this work. You can also learn more about how you can help at LAMayor.org/HelpHomelessAngelenos.