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    HomeNewsWest Hollywood Approves Agreement for Ascencia to Manage Holloway Interim Housing Program

    West Hollywood Approves Agreement for Ascencia to Manage Holloway Interim Housing Program

    At a Regular West Hollywood City Council meeting on Monday, January 22, the City Council approved an Agreement for Services with Ascencia, a non-profit homeless services provider, to manage the Holloway Interim Housing Program and provide supportive services to unhoused community members who participate in the program.

    The decision stems from the City Council’s endorsement of the West Hollywood Five-Year Plan to Address Homelessness in 2018. This comprehensive strategy, shaped by extensive input from the community, City Council, and key stakeholders, prioritizes acquiring properties within the city for conversion into service spaces, particularly interim housing. These programs offer temporary accommodation, supportive social services, and assistance in securing permanent housing solutions to aid individuals in transitioning out of homelessness.

    Holloway Interim Housing Program – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

    Leveraging State Support: California Project Homekey Program

    Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of California launched the Project Homekey Program, providing substantial financial aid to convert hotels and motels into interim and affordable housing. In December 2021, the West Hollywood City Council, in line with the city’s Five-Year Plan, directed staff to co-apply with Ascencia for funding from this program. The aim was to convert a local motel into interim housing.

    Grant Award and Property Acquisition

    In May 2022, the City of West Hollywood and Ascencia secured a $5.8 million Project Homekey grant, with $4.8 million allocated for capital expenses and $1.0 million for operating expenses. Subsequently, in June 2022, the City Council approved the purchase of the Holloway Motel at 8464 Holloway Drive, with the acquisition finalized in April 2023. To fund the restoration costs, the Council allocated $7.06 million, supplementing the Homekey Grant.

    Interdepartmental Collaboration and Project Development

    Since acquiring the property, city departments have collaborated extensively with external consultants and Ascencia on design, planning, permitting, and construction to ensure compliance with programmatic, safety, and regulatory standards.

    Holloway Interim Housing Program Operations Agreement

    Ascencia will oversee operations at the Holloway under a 4.5-year contract with an estimated budget of $6.6 million. The organization will provide comprehensive case management, adhere to Housing First and harm-reduction principles, and offer various services to program participants, including mental health support and substance use treatment.

    Holloway Interim Housing Program – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

    Program Budget and Next Steps

    The program’s budget includes operational costs projected over five years, with funding secured from various sources including the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund and California Project Homekey. Construction is set to commence in early 2024, with a lease agreement between the City and Ascencia expected in March 2024. Staff recruitment and training will follow in the summer, with an operational readiness review planned for fall. The program aims to welcome its first residents in winter 2024, with continuous monitoring and evaluation thereafter.

    The City’s proactive approach, coupled with collaborative efforts and strategic planning, underscores its commitment to addressing homelessness and providing vital support to its unhoused population.

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    Paulo Murillo
    Paulo Murillohttps://wehotimes.com
    Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]

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    Carolyn Campbell
    Carolyn Campbell
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    2 months ago

    The hate, judgment and lack of empathy for this project dedicated to helping those in need is appalling. So much for progressive WeHo residents. More like the attack of the NIMBY types. I’ve been a business and homeowner in WeHo for over 30 years. I support the City’s effort to address the needs of the unhoused. Plus, it seems that the organization brought on to manage this undertaking is highly qualified.

    Last edited 2 months ago by Carolyn Campbell
    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  Carolyn Campbell
    2 months ago

    It’s a very outspoken minority that often comment on these projects. Most Weho residents have progressive views.

    Carolyn Campbell
    Carolyn Campbell
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    Reply to  Weho artist
    2 months ago

    Looking at the percentage of naysayers in this thread, it seems most have no interest in supporting change for the better. Easier to just go on the attack. Several obviously made no effort to read the article which notes solutions and guardrails in place. If WeHo progressives have a voice, sadly, they seldom come to this outlet to state their support of this project. I know too many “progressive NIMBY types” who object to the location of this project.

    Last edited 2 months ago by Carolyn Campbell
    John Cleese
    John Cleese
    Offline
    2 months ago

    I suspect this will be WeHo’s Potemkin Village for homeless services. House the easy cases in a bright, shiny new facility to gin up more funding. What are the metrics to evaluate the program(s)? Using these metrics, how is success defined?

    Enough!
    Enough!
    Offline
    2 months ago

    Does not require treatment. Will do nothing to help people get out of homelessness if the can’t/won’t get treatment.

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  Enough!
    2 months ago

    and offer various services to program participants, including mental health support and substance use treatment.”

    Why do you think this will “do nothing”?

    voter
    voter
    Offline
    2 months ago

    This is an assault on the residents and taxpayers of West Hollywood. Shame on the city council members for bringing this evil to our community to enhance their own political ambitions!

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  voter
    2 months ago

    Housing homeless people temporarily is an assault on whom now?

    As much as you wish- you’re never going to get your dream of shipping all the homeless out to the desert somewhere. Something needs to be done in our area.

    Kiss it
    Kiss it
    Offline
    2 months ago

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. T0 house people for free three blocks away from the bars and 100 feet away from a liquor store and 20 feet away from CVS that sells liquor! Why do we need to house adults That don’t want to work and function? This hotel needs to be a hotel collecting money from tourists and people passing through town that need a place to say and can pay for it!!!!

    resident
    resident
    Offline
    Reply to  Kiss it
    2 months ago

    It’s not just dumb–it’s terrifying–bringing hundreds of desperate and deranged people into our neighborhood. And we have to pay for it!

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