February 21, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ Augmented Winter Shelter Program Activated During Heavy Storm Week for the Homeless

City and County Collaborate to Provide Shelter Amidst Inclement Weather

Amidst the ongoing challenges of homelessness in Los Angeles, the City and County have taken a crucial step to support those living on the streets during inclement weather. The Augmented Winter Shelter Program has been activated, offering additional shelter options to enhance the safety and well-being of the homeless population.

Overseen and operated by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the Augmented Winter Shelter Program will be in operation from Tuesday, January 30, through Tuesday, February 6. This initiative complements the traditional shelters at fixed sites across the City and County, providing interim housing alternatives, particularly during periods of severe or inclement weather, through the use of motel vouchers.

How to Access Shelter:

For individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness and seeking refuge through the Augmented Winter Shelter Program, a simple call to 211 can connect them with the necessary resources. These motel vouchers aim to offer immediate and temporary relief to those in need.

With the recent cold temperatures in the Los Angeles region, coupled with the forecast of rain, the conditions for individuals living on the streets become especially perilous. LAHSA CEO Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum highlighted the significance of the Augmented Winter Shelter Program, emphasizing its role in providing a safe and dry haven during storms. The collaboration with the City and County underscores a collective effort to address the challenges faced by the homeless community.

The Augmented Winter Shelter Program introduced the innovative model of using motel vouchers during the 2022-23 winter season. The success of this approach is evident in the significant increase in utilization, with 5,402 individuals benefiting from the program, marking a remarkable 652% surge compared to the previous season.

The ongoing Winter Shelter Program for the 2023-24 season commenced on November 1, 2023, and is scheduled to conclude on March 31, 2024. Those experiencing unsheltered homelessness during the winter season are encouraged to contact 2-1-1 LA County (dial 2-1-1) or 1-800-548-6047 to access information about available interim housing resources.

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