The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Wednesday announced the opening of the 20th “A Bridge Home” shelter and the first to open on Skid Row.

The Lotus, which is located in a former merchandise warehouse, has room for 120 beds for unhoused men and women. To comply with social distancing protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is currently outfitted with 78 beds.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to Mayor (Eric) Garcetti, Council members (Kevin) De Leon and (Mark) Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor (Holly) Mitchell, and Home at Last for their contributions to making this project a reality,” LAHSA Executive Director Heidi Marston said.

“As we’ve seen from the success of A Bridge Home, Project Roomkey, Project Homekey and other collaborative projects borne out of both our homelessness crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, we can make great strides in helping the thousands of people experiencing homelessness in L.A. County when we coordinate with clarity and urgency across jurisdictions,” she said.

The shelter, which will serve as interim housing, is operated by the nonprofit Home at Last, but LAHSA Homeless Engagement Teams will be involved in outreach efforts to seek out unsheltered residents on Skid Row to move into the facility.

“While the Lotus represents a significant step forward, we must continue to press on and create more places for our homeless population to stay, including permanent housing,” Marston said. “There is much that must be accomplished in the days ahead, and we can only meet that challenge together as a seamless regional system.”

The Bridge Home program creates temporary housing with mental health and wraparound services for people experiencing homelessness across Los Angeles. It is intended to provide people with references for employment opportunities while they apply for permanent supportive housing or find gainful work opportunities.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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