LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin has announced the scheduled launch of his “Encampment to Home” program for Monday, November 1.

Bonin’s office announced that they will centralize the initiative in Westchester Park, based on the high number of unhoused people that have recently started to inhabit the area.

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The program is expected to take around a month, with the interim shelter placements including hotels and motels. The L.A. City Council approved $1.1 million for the program on Tuesday, October 26. The American Rescue Plan will provide Emergency Housing Vouchers, while other permanent housing accommodations will be provided through rapid re-housing vouchers and recovery re-housing slots.

Partnered with Grassroots Neighbors, a volunteer community organization that meets the needs of those experiencing food and housing insecurity, and People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), the program is based off of a similar one that Bonin ran in Venice Beach earlier in 2021.

That program brought 213 people that were living on the beach and boardwalk and moved them indoors, with the promise of an easily navigable path to permanent housing – 49 people from that group have found permanent housing; 42 were reunified with family or are awaiting permanent housing outside of the interim housing; 122 are awaiting permanent housing in the interim housing that was provided to them.

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“We learned a lot with the success we saw in Venice,” said Bonin. “When you work with people and focus on creating suitable alternatives to encampments, then people come inside and everyone wins. Housing people and providing the support and services they need is the most urgent priority in Los Angeles and we owe it to every neighbor in Los Angeles to build upon the achievements we have made with Encampments to Home’s efforts so far.”

While Bonin’s office will begin outreach and operations on Monday, both PATH and Grassroots Neighbors have already begun, 31 of the unhoused people living in Westchester Park with housing and services. However, there is still an unknown number of people who are living in the area.

“It doesn’t solve anything to temporarily displace people, only for them to end up back out on the street,” Bonin continued, “Until people are permanently and stably housed, we won’t be fully successful. Now that we have the resources available to create a pathway to permanent housing for people, we must act aggressively to get people housed and public spaces returned to full public use.”

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