October 31, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

VA Homeless Shelter Construction Delayed

Rain, old pipes and asbestos are slowing down the progress.

By Sam Catanzaro

A bridge housing center at the West Los Angeles VA has lawmakers, local residents and homeless advocates excited about the potential this project has to help homeless veterans, but construction hiccups and bad weather have hindered progress and pushed completion back.

This partnership between the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles and the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide transitional housing for up to 100 homeless veterans. The facility will include personal hygiene centers, laundry facilities, 24-hour security and supportive services. Funding will come jointly from the County and the City and the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide on-site case management and supportive services.

This Bridge Housing facility will be temporary —  and not to be visible from the exterior of the campus — as the VA constructs out its Draft Master Plan, which will provide 1200 units of permanent supportive housing on the campus.

In addition, the VA bridge housing site will include two tension membrane structures in addition to modular trailers to provide space for sleeping, supportive services and personal hygiene. The construction is expected to cost $5 million.

The facility was expected to open in early 2019 but as VA Master Plan Director Meghan Flanz explained at the February 13 Brentwood Community Council meeting, unforeseen issues have pushed everything back.

“The work began in late November, early December and we very quickly ran into a hiccup. First, we first ran into some water lines and then and an underground, appropriately abandoned sewer pipe that was under the property,” Flanz said. “Our campus has been a lot of things over a lot of years, and as things have moved around, the approach to many of the underground utilities was to abandon them in place. We do have drawings that do show what is where. They are not 1000 percent accurate.”

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the underground layout of the aging VA campus, workers ran into another, more hazardous problem that plagues many old buildings: asbestos.

“There was an asbestos sewer pipe there,” Flanz said. “Generally speaking, asbestos, if it is not disturbed, is not in a friable state so it does not create a hazard. In this case, the city’s contractor came in with their equipment to level the site, they disturbed a pipe, we immediately went to effect with our safety planning, we contained it, and we are dealing with it.”

On top of these man-made problems, the progress ran up against a force that no amount of planning could have accounted for: rain.

“Mother nature currently has not done us any favors either. The place is a swamp out there and it is really hard to do things when the ground is this wet. As a result, our work is behind by several months. We don’t know right now exactly how many months because we need to clear the damage that was done to the site before the city can come back and grade it and put the structure up,” Franz said. “We are still hoping to be able to open that facility for the emergency, temporary bridge housing for homeless veterans sometime this summer.”

Related Posts

10 City of LA Hotels and Apartments to be Converted Into Interim Housing

October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020

Los Angeles City Council approves $100M purchase By Toi Creel The City of Los Angeles is spending over $100 million...

What was the witch’s favorite school subject? Spelling

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

By Nick Melvoin LAUSD District 4 Board Member Board District 4 What was the witch’s favorite school subject? Spelling. Classes...

City Council Delays Vote on Encampment Ban

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

Controversial proposal delayed until November 24 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles lawmakers have delayed voting on a bill that would...

Edify TV: Have You Tried These Westside Donut Spots?

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

National Donut Day is Thursday, November 5th. Have you tried these doughy delights across the Westside of Los Angeles? Video...

LA County Considering Allowing Restaurants to Implement COVID-19 Surcharge

October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Plan would allow restaurants, breweries and wineries to add COVID-19 surcharge By Kerry Slater Los Angeles County is considering allowing...

Edify TV: Halloween Amid COVID-19

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

With LA County health officials prohibiting many Halloween activities and discouraging trick or treating, costume stores like Ursula’s Costumes in...

Local Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A local day spa owner was charged this...

Reese-Davidson Project Hearing Postponed: YO! Venice Show – October, 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Reese-Davidson Project Hearing Postponed * Early Voter Turnout Close To 50,000...

Two Developments with 100+ Units Underway Near Venice High School

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Duo of multifamily apartments on Venice Boulevard beginning to rise By Kerry Slater Over a year after breaking ground, a...

Edify TV: Development Replacing Local Car Wash

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

A Sawtelle lot that once held a car wash will soon be the site of a multi-family housing development. Learn...

‘Recall Newsom’ Head Hanging From Venice Ballerina Clown

October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

Cardboard cutout of Gov. Newsom’s head hanging from iconic Venice art installation By Sam Catanzaro A cardboard cutout painting of...

L.A. County COVID-19 Cases Partly Driven Teenagers

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Free Flu Shots at Palms Middle School for Students and Family

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

Los Angeles Unified and Health Net offering free vaccinations for seasonal flu to students and families By Chad Winthrop Los...

Mark Twain Middle School Community Raising Money to Restore Mural

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Colorful mosaic mural in front of school in need of repair By Sam Catanzaro Mark Twain Middle School community members...