City Hosts Study Session on Homelessness and Unveils ‘Real Change’ Donation Stations
The City Council of the City of West Hollywood convened a Study Session on Homelessness on Monday, February 5, 2018 at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at the West Hollywood Library.
The Study Session included a panel of experts in outreach to people who are homeless; social service delivery; safety and law enforcement; public policy and advocacy; and funding related to Los Angeles County Measure H, which is expected to generate millions of dollars annually for services to combat homelessness across Los Angeles County.
“Our Study Session on Homelessness highlighted our approach of working with both social service agencies and law enforcement to address the issue in a collaborative fashion,” said West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman. “Homelessness is an urgent issue throughout the County and it won’t be solved overnight. We need to expand the capacity of shelters, create more supportive housing for those with mental health issues, and continue to increase our efforts to ensure public safety.”
The study session included the debut of a three-minute Public Service Announcement (PSA) video that focuses on the City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative. The video captures the story of Jake Weinraub, Mental Health Clinician for the LA LGBT Center, who works to conduct coordinated outreach to connect people who are homeless with a continuum of services and programs. The PSA video is available on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/JTa4e9R8-SI.
In late January 2018, the City of West Hollywood launched its “Real Change” Donation Station program.
“There are four Donation Stations presently, and, if the program is successful, perhaps we can add more throughout the City,” said Councilmember Lauren Meister. “Folks can feel good about feeding these meters because the funds collected will go towards the City’s Homeless Initiative. It’s a great way for community members to support the City’s outreach efforts and services to assist people who are experiencing homelessness.”
Donation Stations at four key locations look similar to standard parking meters, but they stand out as different due to their unique bright purple domes and blue-and-yellow signage. The Donation Stations offer basic information about the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative and accept both coin and credit card contributions. They are located at:
- West Hollywood Gateway (La Brea Avenue);
- Plummer Park (adjacent to tennis courts);
- Santa Monica Boulevard at Robertson Boulevard; and
- West Hollywood Park.
The City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative seeks to address homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response. The West Hollywood Homeless Initiative provides outreach and services at the West Hollywood Library as a strategic collaboration between the City of West Hollywood, the County of Los Angeles Public Library, and contracted social services provider organizations. These organizations include Ascencia, Step Up on Second, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Safe Refuge, Friends Community Center, and Tarzana Treatment Centers. These organizations provide on-site weekday outreach hours at the West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.
In order to increase awareness about the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative and to assist local businesses, residents, and community members with information and resources, the City is distributing new informational materials. “Homeless Not Hopeless” cards contain detailed contact information for community members who have concerns or who are being impacted and “Help Is Within Reach” pocket guides are being used by outreach teams to help people who are homeless to access resources. If you are concerned about a community member who is homeless, call the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative Concern Line at (323) 848-6590. If your concern requires time-sensitive assistance during nights or weekends, please call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850. For life-threatening emergencies or criminal activity, call 911.
For additional information about the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative, please visit www.weho.org/homeless.
For more information, please contact Corri Planck, the City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative Program Manager, at (323) 848-6430 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.
Photo by Jon Viscott | “Real Change” Donation Station