In August 2018, Verity Health System of California filed for bankruptcy protection for St. Vincent Medical Center (SVMC), along with affiliate hospitals. Since last year’s successful auction bidder was unable to secure financing to follow through on the purchase, St. Vincent Medical Center is once again available for purchase. In addition, a judge has given Verity permission to close SVMC. In response, today the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion, authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, directing the County to explore the possibility of acquiring the property with the intent of repurposing it to provide interim and affordable housing units for people experiencing homelessness.
“LA County is best suited to take the lead in turning St. Vincent Medical Center into a facility that could help address our need for more affordable housing, interim housing, and wraparound mental and medical health services,” said Supervisor Solis. “Part of my strategy has been to repurpose underutilized or unused County assets to offset our lack of affordable housing. If we are to effectively combat our homelessness crisis, we must be innovative and creative in our approach. This is not business as usual. This is boldly placing the community’s needs first.”
On March 19, 2019, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion, authored by Supervisor Solis, that authorized the County to acquire the St. Vincent Medical Campus, which consists of 10.49 acres at Alvarado and 3rd Street, in LA County’s First District. Although the County was not successful in that first bid, the SVMC property is now back on the market for purchase. Today’s Board motion directs LA County to once again attempt to acquire the property in order to repurpose the facility with the primary goal of addressing the County’s homelessness and affordable housing crisis.
Today’s motion also directs the County’s Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services to provide resources for individuals at risk of losing their jobs due to the hospital’s closure. Lastly, the motion calls for a report back before the Jan. 28 Board of Supervisors meeting.
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