With inclement weather on the horizon, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), today, announced that it would start the 2019-2020 Winter Shelter Program early. Seven emergency shelter locations will open November 26, 27, and 29 for the 2019-2020 Winter Shelter season.
These emergency shelters will offer 271 beds to help people experiencing homelessness escape the inclement weather that is expected in the Los Angeles region this week. The rest of LAHSA’s Winter Shelter portfolio will open throughout December.
In total, this season’s Winter Shelter Program will offer 1,232 beds at 16 locations throughout Los Angeles County. These beds will be available through March 31, 2020.
“With serious winter weather impacting our community ahead of the launch date of the Winter Shelter Program, LAHSA, the City of Los Angeles, and the County of Los Angeles saw it was necessary to open these shelters immediately to help as many of our most vulnerable residents as possible,” said Peter Lynn, Executive Director at LAHSA.
The Winter Shelter Program consists of several temporary emergency shelters that provide a warm place to sleep, food, and access to supportive services and housing assistance to our homeless neighbors.
The County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles provide LAHSA with the funding necessary to administer the Winter Shelter Program. LAHSA contracts with several non-profit service providers to operate emergency shelters at multiple locations throughout Los Angeles County.
The Winter Shelter Program will operate through March 31. During the Winter Shelter season, each shelter will open at 5:00 pm and close at 7:00 am.
Winter Shelters can operate 24 hours-a-day during certain inclement weather conditions, including when:
- The 7-day weather forecast predicts two consecutive days when the high temperature will be below 50°, or the nightly lows are below 40°.
- The 7-day weather forecast predicts 50% or greater chance of rain for one or more days where rainfall will be over half an inch.
- The National Weather Service forecast predicts three days of low temperatures of 32° or less.
- The National Weather Service forecasts at least one inch of rain within 24 hours.
- The National Weather Service forecasts three consecutive days of at least a quarter-inch of rain accompanied by high temperatures at 50° or below.
- Shelter providers determine that there is a need to extend their hours based on local weather conditions.
The Winter Shelters that will be opening this week will operate on a 24-hour basis due to the local weather forecast predicting rain on Wednesday and Thursday and lows in some parts of Los Angeles County dropping into the 20s.
“I am so grateful to LAHSA, the County, and the City of Los Angeles for stepping up to bring people inside a warm and safe place for Thanksgiving. We have more to do, but this is wonderful news,” said Sarah Dusseault, Chair of the LAHSA Commission.
The Winter Shelters can operate on a 24-hour basis for 21 days during the Winter Shelter season. After that period has been exhausted, operators can continue to operate 24 hours-a-day at their own expense.
All the Winter Shelter sites that are opening early will accept walk-ins until December 1, except the Salvation Army’s Hollywood site and Weingart, which will remain a walk-in site for the entire season. All other sites will have transportation services starting on December 1.
In addition to the winter shelter beds, LAHSA will be activating an additional 100 emergency beds in its current interim housing portfolio throughout the county for individuals experiencing homelessness on Wednesday and Thursday nights.