Safe Place for Youth (SPY) and PATH “Coffee With the Community” meetings
By Sam Catanzaro
Safe Place for Youth (SPY) and PATH, chosen operators for a homeless shelter underway in Venice, will be answering questions from residents in weekly “Coffee With the Community” meetings.
According to Allison White from the City of Los Angeles, this is a weekly opportunity to ask questions and discuss the A Bridge Home initiative in Venice directly with representatives from PATH and SPY. Meetings will take place on Fridays at 9 a.m. starting September 27. To RSVP visit bit.ly/coffee-abh.
PATH, one of the nation’s most successful and respected homeless service providers, will be the lead operator of the site and will work with the Venice-based SPY, which will also provide services at the temporary facility, which will provide 100 beds for adults and 54 beds for youth.
The 154-bed homeless shelter, part of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s A Bridge Home program, will be located on the 3.15-acre lot that takes up an entire block between Pacific Avenue and Main Street south of Sunset Avenue. In this program, Mayor Garcetti asked every Councilmember to look at encampments in their district and to find locations for bridge housing.
MTA closed the lot in 2015 after receiving multiple offers from developers interested in the site. The property can be used for housing for the next three years, however, because there is no deal in place.
The project has not been without controversy. Opponents have raised issue with the shelter’s location, worrying that the site will disrupt the mostly residential neighborhood. In addition, there has been concern raised about the housing being within a 1,000-foot radius of Westminster Elementary School.
The Venice Stakeholders Association is in the midst of a legal battle against the City of Los Angeles over the project, saying the environmental review was unjustly fast-tracked and did not take into account an increase in noise levels from individuals in the shelter or its air conditioning units.