The Culver City City Council gave Upward Bound House’s Emergency Family Shelter the green light on January 15, allowing the organization to move forward with its project to convert a motel into an emergency shelter for homeless families with minor children.
The council voted 3-2 to uphold the Culver City Planning Commission’s October 24 vote to approve the agency’s plans to purchase and convert the SunBay Motel into emergency housing. The new facility – the only one on the Westside of Los Angeles for families with children – will be a vital resource to the growing number of families in crisis in the region.
“This is an important step in the right direction,” said David Snow, the Executive Director of Upward Bound House. “Every night in Los Angeles County, there are more than 10,000 homeless children, many living in conditions unfit for human habitation.”
Each year, the facility, which will be located in the Culver West area of Culver City, will assist upwards of 200 individuals, including over 125 children. In addition to providing housing, the proposed project will feature intensive case management. “Families will be required to meet with their case managers on a daily basis,” said Tracy Woodburry, the agency’s Program Director. “Our goal is to get families stabilized and into permanent housing as quickly as possible.” The program is based on the agency’s successful Family Place program based in Santa Monica, and will include a Housing First component.
Safety and security are primary considerations for the project, both for the community and for the families who will be sheltered. Security upgrades will include perimeter fencing, a sophisticated security camera system, and staff which will be on-site 24/7. In addition, the project will include significant upgrades to the beautification of the building, including the removal of the motel signage, painting, and new landscaping.
“The agency is committed to partnering with the community,” said Snow. “We look forward to working with our neighbors, city leaders, and regional partners to ensure the success of this program. Homelessness is everyone’s challenge.”