South LA Opens the First Bridge Home Shelter in CD 9

Councilmember Curren Price, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Supervisor Hilda Solis celebrated on Thursday, March 5 the completion of the first A Bridge Home shelter in District 9 called “Bringing Hope to Hope Street.” The facility at 2817 S. Hope St. is the twelfth to open in Los Angeles as part of the City’s homeless shelter program.

The structure in South LA will temporarily house 100 homeless men and women from the community and help them transition into permanent supportive housing. Volunteers of America will provide case management onsite, as well as assistance finding housing, jobs and other services.

“’Bringing Hope to Hope Street’ is not just a shelter, but rather a reminder that we must never lose hope,” said Councilman Price. “Here, our formerly homeless neighbors will find refuge, comfort and healing. Most importantly, they'll be on the path to stability, independence and a new life. We know that this may only be one chapter in their lives but this is not the end of their story.”

In 2018, Mayor Garcetti launched A Bridge Home, an emergency bridge housing plan to provide homeless Angelenos in each Council District a temporary place to live and receive supportive services until they are connected with permanent housing.

"Angelenos are coming together to confront the homelessness crisis by providing housing, healing, and hope," said Mayor Garcetti. "The opening of 'Bringing Hope to Hope Street' is the latest reminder that we are deploying resources and forging partnerships to bring our unhoused neighbors indoors now."

The latest Bridge Home project is on County-owned property. The land previously served as one of four County parking lots for the H. Claude Hudson Comprehensive Health Center. The County agreed to lease the land to the City of Los Angeles at no cost.

“Homelessness continues to be the defining moral issue of our time. As we move forward, it is crucial that we leave no stone unturned in our effort to combat homelessness in LA County and that includes repurposing under-utilized County properties, such as parking lots, that could be transformed into the supportive and interim housing that our region so desperately needs,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who represents the First District where this new housing project is located. “I will continue to work with our partners, including the City of Los Angeles, Volunteers of America, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, and other service providers as we confront our growing homelessness crisis head-on. We will not rest until every County resident has a safe and warm place to sleep at night.”

The “Bringing Hope to Hope Street” facility includes a pet area and outdoor eating area, a community room, bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities, storage space and 24-hour security. Moreover, individuals moving in will have access to job training opportunities, life skills, and haircuts. The site will also offer pet care, including vaccinations, spaying, neutering and grooming services. Volunteers of America – Los Angeles (VOALA) will oversee the day-to-day operations.

"VOALA is excited to partner with CD 9 and Councilman Curren Price on this vital project to help and give hope to our communities’ most vulnerable,” said Orlando Ward, Executive Director of External Affairs. “The Hope Street location will provide superior case management with a state-of-the-art facility and strong community partnerships to offer a way out of street homelessness within The NEW 9th."

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center will serve as a medical home for the residents moving in. The organization will provide a full range of medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmacy services through its mobile clinic or at 18 sites throughout South LA.

“The effort to develop bridge housing in the 9th Council District, and throughout the City, is a critical lynchpin in tackling the homeless crisis. Providing transitional and temporary housing to thousands of homeless individuals and families across the City will allow people to stabilize, receive services and secure permanent supportive housing,” said Jim Mangia, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center President & CEO. “St. John’s is honored to partner with Councilman Curren Price in providing healthcare services to individuals experiencing homelessness who will finally be housed through the bridge housing project in South LA. We applaud his efforts to be one of the first Council Districts to develop this project.”

Click on the photo below to enjoy a video produced by our friends at LA This Week.

To see additional photos from the "Bringing Hope to Hope Street" ribbon cutting ceremony, click here

 

 

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JEDI Zones Offer Incentives

On Friday, March 6, the Los Angeles City Council established the criteria for the creation of a Jobs and Economic Development Incentive (JEDI) Zone Program and Councilman Price introduced a motion for one of the first to be in District 9.

The JEDI program would provide incentives such as expedited permitting, fee reductions, facade improvement assistance, training incentives, compliance assistance and access to capital. Price’s motion asked that the Goodyear Tract industrial complex, located in his District, be designated a JEDI Zone.

These zones will offer City incentives to businesses looking to transform or expand their footprint. The request to declare the Goodyear Tract a JEDI Zone will now be evaluated by the Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) to ensure it meets the requirements.

Read more about the program, here.

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Good Food Zone Pilot Set for South LA

On Tuesday, March 3, the Los Angeles City Council established the Good Food Zone policy and approved the first pilot for the South LA area.

First introduced by Councilman Curren Price, the proposal expands access to healthy, fresh food in “food desert” neighborhoods and increases economic opportunity. The policy creates economic incentives for businesses, including retail and restaurants, that offer healthy products.

“In an area considered a food desert, policies like this are so important in helping to transform communities and ensuring that our residents are offered the same healthy options as those in more affluent areas,” Price said.

This policy was developed over the last year by a number of community stakeholders and led by the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. For more information on eligibility, contact the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD).

For more information on the policy, read the Council File here.

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Helping Small Businesses Build their Websites

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, local businesses gathered at the District Office of Councilman Curren Price to take part in a website building workshop in partnership with Rebrand Cities and the City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency.

During a two day event, designed to help address the digital divide in South LA, eight small business owners obtained help and guidance with content and website design.

"As technologies continue to evolve, it is imperative that our small businesses maintain an online presence to connect with a fast-changing world," said Councilman Price.

For more information on resources to support local businesses, please contact Mike Castillo, Executive Director of Councilman Price's Business Resource Center, at (323) 846-2651.

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Councilman Price Donates Childrens' Jackets

Councilman Curren Price on Tuesday, Feb. 25 delivered 300 jackets to Ninety-Third Street Elementary students to replace the ones that had been damaged as a result of the Delta fuel dump in January.

Last month, Councilman Price met with the school principal and affirmed his commitment to assist the school following the Delta incident.

“In the end, communities like ours are left to deal with the aftermath and consequences,” Councilman Price said. “In the case for Ninety-Third Street Elementary, we will also have to redo an entire garden that brought joy to many.”

Currently, the Office of Councilman Price is working with a local organization to assist in the clean up of the garden and prepare it for the spring.

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CD 9 Honorees Recognized for their Community Work, Impact

Councilman Curren Price continued this year’s African American Heritage Month celebration with a special presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 25 honoring local “Community Champions.”

The selected individuals were recognized for their service and contributions to improve the quality of life for residents in South LA.

“We honor them today to not only highlight their character and achievements, but to present examples that should serve as inspiration and motivation to others to support their work, or to become Community Champions themselves,” Price said during the Council presentation. “I’m delighted to shine a light on the unsung heroes of District 9.”

The 2020 honorees include:

Jerald Neely: Owner of Neely’s Educational Materials & Supplies. Originally starting as a furniture store, Neely built a family business that spans decades. To this day, Neely’s continues to serve the greater Los Angeles community by offering quality products and strives to maintain low prices, knowledgeable customer service representatives and has become one of the best places to find supplies for school, home or the office.

Leon Gullette: The Vice President of Intervention Services at Community Build, Inc., Gullette started his career in gang intervention services in 1992 by helping facilitate a much-needed gang truce to South Los Angeles. Since that time, he has become the central figure in South Los Angeles for training the interventionist community. Over the arc of his career, he has received numerous awards and recognitions to include: The Mayor’s Office, President Bill Clinton GRYD, and LAPD, just to name a few.

Reverend Dr. Curtis L. Hughes Sr: A proud graduate of the legendary Thomas Jefferson High School in District 9, Dr. Hughes would later return to the high school to coach basketball and played the role of a father to many of the students on and off the court. He was ordained in August 1996 at New Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church after having attended the Christian University for the Nations in Los Angeles and ultimately earning his Doctorate degree in 2009. For over 25 years, Dr. Hughes has teamed up with Jack in the Box in South Los Angeles to give scholarships to high school seniors in the community so they may continue their education and he is committed to giving youth jobs.

Dr. Cadrin E. Gill: Now the Medical Director of the Vernbro Medical Group, Dr. Gill received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Columbia University in New York. Vernbro Medical Center was built in 1953 by a group of Black physicians out of necessity. At that time, most major hospitals would not allow Black doctors on their staff- a practice that hurt not only doctors but residents, especially those in South Los Angeles. In 1991, Dr. Gill purchased the Vernbro Medical Center where they serve patients from all demographics and have an emphasis on care for Veterans and the homeless.

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CicLAvia Rolls Through South LA

Thousands of people descended into South LA on Sunday, Feb. 23 to kick off the 10th Anniversary of CicLAvia with a 6-mile car-free route connecting South Central, Florence-Firestone and Watts. 

There were several Hubs along the route including one at the District Office of Councilman Curren Price, which featured free bike and helmet giveaways, an archery range, vendors, as well as cheerleading performances by Harmony Elementary School and Nimitz Middle School.

Over the past 10 years, the non-profit organization has been promoting the importance of health, wellness and alternative modes of transportation. They have held 35 events throughout Los Angeles, closing off traffic to allow the community to ride bikes, skate board, roller skate, run or walk. 

"Having CicLAvia come to South LA provided a unique experience which united the community," said Councilman Price. "People were able to experience our neighborhood in a way many people have never done before."

Click on the photo below to see coverage from the event courtesy of our friends at LA This Week. 

 

To see additional photos from CicLAvia South LA, click here.

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Councilman Curren Price Launches Homelessness Advisory Committee in CD 9

In an effort to address the worst humanitarian crisis of our time, Councilman Curren Price recently created the CD 9 Homelessness Advisory Committee. The objective of the new committee is to bring community stakeholders to the table to learn and expand on ways to help individuals experiencing homelessness.

The inaugural meeting, which was held on Thursday, Feb. 20, opened with a comprehensive presentation by Councilman Price providing detail into the strategies he is taking to address homelessness in District 9. The committee members also heard from Amy Perkins, the Director of Interim Housing Strategies with Mayor Eric Garcetti's Office, as well as Steven Yu, Community Engagement Supervisor with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), and Orlando Ward, the Executive Director of External Affairs at Volunteers of America - Los Angeles. Speakers in attendance shared insight into what the County, City and service providers are doing to help in the fight.

The 15-person committee consists of representatives from faith-based organizations, Neighborhood Councils, homeless service providers and educators-each selected because of their work in the community and shared desire to end homelessness. 

For more information on what Councilman Price is doing to address the crisis, call his District Office at (323) 846-2651.  



 

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Councilman Curren Price Recognizes 2020 Academy Award Winner “Hair Love”

In celebration of African American Heritage Month, Councilman Curren Price led a special City Council presentation on Wednesday, Feb. 19 to recognize the 2020 Oscar-winning short film, Hair Love," a heartfelt tale which aligns with the current national movement seeking protection against discrimination based on hairstyles and texture.  

During the presentation, Councilmember Price acknowledged Director, Writer, Producer Matthew A. Cherry, Executive Vice President of Creative for Sony Pictures Animation Karen Rupert Toliver, and the "Hair Love" team for their recent achievement. 

"The Oscar win comes at a very poignant time when black people around the country, especially our students, are being discriminated against for wearing natural hair styles," Councilman Price said. 

“Hair Love” is a heartfelt animated short film that centers around the relationship between an African-American father, his daughter Zuri, and the most daunting task a father could ever face – doing his daughter’s hair for the first time. 

"'Hair Love' was born out of wanting to see more representation in film," said Cherry, a former NFL wide receiver, during the presentation in Council Chambers. "We did this project to do something that young people can see themselves in. If we can get more representation in animation, it will trickle down to all the other forms of filmmaking."

Rupert Toliver added, "I have two black teenage sons, and this was an opportunity to present positive images of black men so people can start to think of them differently when they walk this earth."

With his win, Cherry, who left his football career in 2007 to pursue his passion of becoming a filmmaker, becomes the second former professional athlete to win an Oscar. The first (also for an animated short film) was the late Kobe Bryant, for "Dear Basketball." In addition to being an Oscar-winning film, “Hair Love” is also a New York Times best seller. 

Click on the image below to see coverage of the event from our friends at LA This Week.

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Volunteers Prep "Safe Landing for Families-Broadway"

Councilman Curren Price on Saturday, Feb. 15 joined nearly 100 volunteers to prepare the Safe Landing for Families-Broadway site – and specifically the 10 trailers donated by Gov. Gavin Newsom – to be ready for the homeless families who moved in this past week.

St. Joseph Center, the nonprofit homeless services provider for the site, organized the Community Day event in partnership with Councilmember Price’s Office and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

“This is our way of saying, ‘Welcome home, a new life awaits,’” said Councilman Price. "We want the new residents to feel the warm embrace of their community and to know that we're here for them from beginning to end."

During the Community Day, volunteers assembled a play area, dog run and patio sets donated by the California Community Foundation (CCF). They also installed landscaping and cleaned and supplied the trailers with household products. Finally, they made welcome baskets for the homeless families, many of whom were living on the streets in the immediate vicinity.

“This is the County and City of Angels and we are living up to that name,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “This boundless compassion must continue to drive our collective urgency to bring all our homeless neighbors indoors.”

Among the volunteers and donors was TV host Jimmy Kimmel, his wife Molly McNearney, and members of the staff of the show Jimmy Kimmel Live. 

“I am so impressed by and honored to be part of this inspiring and important project," said Jimmy Kimmel, whose team donated food, bedding, dishes, and other household items for the families moving in. "There is no better way to fight homelessness than by getting families back on their feet.” 

Residents of local neighborhoods and St. Joseph Center supporters made up the bulk of the volunteers, along with representatives of local businesses, faith organizations, and United Way of Greater LA’s Everyone In campaign.

“It is so wonderful to see the community come together to lift up families experiencing homelessness and to welcome them to the neighborhood,” St. Joseph Center President and CEO Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Ph.D., said. “Being homeless can be an isolating experience. By joining together, we are showing our homeless neighbors that they aren’t alone; we are here with them.”

Previously used by first responders in the Camp Fire, the trailers were re-purposed into temporary housing for the homeless under an Executive Order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Jan. 8. Since then, LA County and City expedited leasing a site and installing electricity, water and sewage connections, as well as other improvements.

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