City officials break ground on South LA housing for homeless veterans

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- City officials on Friday broke ground on a $32 million-apartment complex in South Los Angeles for the homeless, with a focus on serving homeless veterans.

The complex is located near South Figueroa and Flower streets. The community will offer 57 affordable units in all, 42 specifically for those who have served the country. Officials said it will be a supportive housing community offering more than just a place to sleep.

"In the past, we used to serve people on the street, keep them alive, but they weren't indoors where if we got them an apartment. If we didn't give them the mental healthcare they needed, physical healthcare, anti-addiction services, child care, they'd fall back onto the streets, so this is a formula that works," said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

This facility differs from bridge housing because occupants will be able to live there for up to five years. The city's measure HHH is funding a big part of the project and L.A. County is a partner as well. The on-site services will include assistance in placing the occupants in full-time jobs.

"We have 5,000 units that are coming online, that's half of the 10,000. That's a tripling of the pace before. We have 100 new outreach workers training this week. We used to have 15 in the city, we now have 500. All of these things together -- whether it's saying yes to a shelter, yes to a permanent supportive housing facility, more outreach workers -- we all agree, let's not argue, lets not yell, let's get the work done, that's the most important thing," Garcetti said.

The permanent supportive housing community will be completed by early 2020.
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