LOS ANGELES—Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers José Huizar, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Curren Price today officially opened the Skid Row Community ReFresh Spot, a personal care center that will provide new access to showers and toilet facilities for Angelenos experiencing homelessness.
“We have to do everything possible to help people stay healthy and live with the dignity that each one of us deserves,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Homelessness is a crisis of housing and public health — and the ReFresh Spot shows that when the community and City work together, we can help the most vulnerable Angelenos meet their most basic human needs.”
On behalf of the city-community partnership, Councilmember José Huizar introduced a motion in November to secure funding for the hygiene center from the City’s Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget and savings from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) 2016-2017 budget.
“Access to safe, clean toilets and a hot shower are a basic human right,” said Councilmember Huizar. “This will be more than a hygiene center. Our aim is to give the residents of Skid Row a sense of hope and dignity that better days are possible while we also take action to protect them from the spread of Hepatitis A. Today is not the end of our efforts. It is just the beginning, but it represents a critical first-step.”
As the City works to build the 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing funded by Proposition HHH, it is simultaneously pursuing alternative crisis housing strategies — from modified villages of tiny homes to modular, temporary communities — and expanding public amenities to minimize public health risks.
“The ReFresh Spot is the latest in a myriad of efforts and initiatives implemented across Los Angeles to adequately assist our homeless population in a humane and dignified manner,” said Councilmember Price. “I am proud that in my District, we have executed a hugely popular mobile shower program at a local shelter, and are now looking to expand the safe parking program for homeless individuals and families. All of our efforts combined demonstrate our unwavering commitment to lift up one of our most vulnerable populations.”
Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles, an innovative homeless service provider known for its harm-reduction approach and behavioral health services, will serve as the primary operator for “The Spot” — with support from Goodwill Industries, Social Model Recovery Systems, and We Team Security.
The ReFresh Spot is located on the future site of a permanent supportive housing site with over 100 units. The Weingart Center anticipates a groundbreaking in December 2018.