Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors today approved her motion to convert an Augmented Winter Shelter at Bassett Park into a Winter Shelter that will operate from Dec. 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020:

“If we are to effectively end homelessness, we all need to join together to help our sisters and brothers who lack stable housing. I am grateful to those communities and cities throughout the San Gabriel Valley, like the City of Pomona, who are extending a helping hand to our most vulnerable residents who are experiencing homelessness.

I want to thank LA County’s Department of Parks and Recreation and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) for partnering with my office to convert a formerly Augmented Winter Shelter into a Winter Shelter at Bassett Park to serve up to 100 people on a daily basis.

Despite the fact that on any given night more than 5,000 individuals are experiencing homelessness in Service Planning Area (SPA) 3, which encompasses the San Gabriel Valley, there are very few interim shelters to keep our vulnerable neighbors safe from inclement weather. More than 70 percent of San Gabriel Valley’s homeless population is unsheltered, meaning they are living out on the streets, in makeshift shelters, or in vehicles. As temperatures drop, people who are unsheltered are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather changes, which can exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions. Now is the time for all of us to pool our resources to help those who lack housing.

I commend cities and communities in the San Gabriel Valley that have stepped up to help vulnerable families that have experienced the strain of our region’s high cost of housing and rent and who are now experiencing homelessness. We must work together to lift our friends, families, and neighbors out of poverty and into a place they can call home.”

Today’s motion directs the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) to work with LAHSA to convert the gym at Bassett Park into a Winter Shelter to operate from Dec. 1 to March 31. The motion also instructs the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation to work with the CEO Homeless Initiative and LAHSA in assessing sites managed by Parks to identify one or more additional locations that could serve as Augmented Winter Shelters. When other Winter Shelters are at capacity, these supplemental augmented shelters often fill an acute, short-term need to provide adults experiencing homelessness a respite from harsh weather conditions.