They are looking to fund a 365 day/24-hour shelter with wrap around services but will take some time to get all the funding in place and the needed repairs and upgrades to the facility. Today LA City voted to fund a 30-day extension which means the shelter will remain open for an additional 30 nights with a slight gap of no shelter service while the transition takes place. Per recent data, there are over 1,200 homeless people in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which has been impacted by a 35% increase from 2015.
Recently a local organization Valley in Action started a campaign and petition to help the homeless in the area and key to it was for the Sylmar Armory to remain open and available. As they rallied behind what they felt was standing up for the less fortunate they encouraged people to sign a petition, they got signatures, they held meetings, demonstrations, and asked for the community to stand up with them such as Sylmar Neighborhood Council. Memebrs from the Valley In Action group attended the SNC Board meetings to speak and point out of the many homeless living along Foothill Blvd., Glenoaks, Polk, Hubbard, San Fernando Rd and along the freeways. Valley in Action lead by Ronnie Veliz also met with Molly Rysman, Housing and Homeless Deputy from Supervisor Sheila Kuehl's office to further inform her of the seriousness of the problem in hopes of getting support from both Supervisor Kuehl and Senator Hertzberg.
On Tuesday, everyone that pitched their concerns and threw in their support had much to celebrate as the item went before the Board of Supervisors. It was unanimously voted in favor of collaborating with the LA Homeless Servicies Authority to see what is needed to make this location a 24/7 365-day shelter for those in need. The armory currently serves as a temporary shelter, but opens only evenings during winter months. The supervisors’ proposal would allow the facility to remain open year-round and ensure that shelter users receive assistance finding permanent housing. The motion also calls for transportation service to and from the shelter. LAHSA and the County Chief Executive Office will add up the cost of opening the Sylmar shelter permanently and report back to the Board of Supervisors in 45 days.
Rejoicing are Ann Job and Peggy Courtney Directors on the Sylmar Neighborhood Council who have been key in organizing and doing work during the Sylmar Homeless Count Day along with members from their Homeless Services Committee. They have done much to help those less fortunate in Sylmar by advocating for them and organizing relief backpacks filled with essential items which were given out last year. Please join the next committee meeting which is on March 2nd, just check our calendar for location and time.
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