VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Groundbreaking of Permanent Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans
July 15, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VAGLAHS to Host Groundbreaking Event to Mark Start of Construction of Permanent Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans
LOS ANGELES – VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System’s (VAGLAHS) West Los Angeles (WLA) campus announces Buildings 205 and 208 Enhanced-Use Lease projects have moved into the construction phase. To mark this important milestone, Shangri-La Construction, LP and Step Up on Second Street, Inc. (Step Up) will break ground on July 22, 2020 at a virtual ceremony at 11:00 a.m.
Buildings 205 and 208 are historical structures on the WLA VA campus. They will be renovated to accommodate permanent supportive housing for homeless and at-risk Veterans. The 53,047 square-foot and 47,046 square-foot two-story buildings will include a combined total of 120 private residential units for Veterans. Each building will also include a community kitchen, laundry room, reading room, and activity room that can also serve as a counseling area and community room.
Consistent with the VAGLAHS WLA campus Draft Master Plan dated January 28, 2016, these buildings are part of the Enhanced-Use Leasing projects for underutilized buildings as part of a strategic effort to help end Veteran homelessness.
"In line with the Draft Master Plan, we are delighted to realize this progress in our vision to restore the WLA campus to its intended purpose, and to provide our homeless Veterans the care, support, and housing they deserve," said Dr. Steven Braverman, Director, VAGLAHS.
The co-location of these types of projects on the VAGLAHS WLA campus ensures that Veterans have ready access to care and treatment designed to help them attain long-term independence and self-sufficiency.
"Advancing to the next stage in this project is the result of a lot of hard work and extensive coordination between multiple government and community partners," continued Braverman. "More importantly, it is a significant step forward in honoring VA’s commitment to our most vulnerable homeless Veterans and their families."
Both buildings will provide permanent supportive housing for Veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Once operational, Step Up, in partnership with the VA, will provide supportive services to Veteran residents. Since 2017, Step Up has been the primary service provider for the 54 vulnerable, formerly homeless Veterans living in Building 209, which is in the same location as Buildings 205 and 208.
"Providing the services for all of the Veterans who live in these three buildings on the VA campus will assist in creating a sense of community and a sense of belonging," said Tod Lipka, Step Up’s President & CEO. "Step Up is proud to provide services and property management across these Veteran projects in partnership with Shangri-La and VA. It is past time for our heroes to be housed and to live with dignity."
Shangri-La Construction, LP financed the renovation with Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity, tax exempt bonds, and funds from the City of Los Angeles’ Housing and Community Investment Department’s HHH Supportive Housing Program.
"Shangri-La is honored to partner with the VA, and the County and City of Los Angeles, to bring an additional 120 permanent supportive housing units to the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center campus for Veterans experiencing homelessness," said Andy Meyers, CEO of Shangri-La. "Shangri-La is committed to serving the U.S. Veteran community by providing safe, cost effective supportive housing units throughout California and the U.S."
The groundbreaking event is closed to the public due to social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. For any media queries, please contact Steve Ruh, Chief of Communications, VAGLAHS, at Steven.Ruh@va.gov or call (310) 268-3848.
ABOUT VAGLAHS: VAGLAHS is one component of the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network (VISN22) offering services to Veterans residing in Southern California. VAGLAHS consists of two ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility and eight community-based outpatient clinics. VAGLAHS serves Veterans residing throughout five counties: Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. There are approximately 1.4 million Veterans in the VAGLAHS service area. For more information, call (310)268.3340 or visit us at www.losangeles.va.gov. Veterans in need can call the VA hotline toll-free at 877-4-AID-VET.
ABOUT SHANGRI-LA CONSTRUCTION, LP (SLC): SLC is a premier developer/builder, known for its cost-conscious and efficient approach, wide range of services, and diverse portfolio. SLC has delivered some of Southern California’s landmark projects including the Hotel Figueroa Renovation, Freehand Hotel, and 1133 Hope Apartments. From its inception, expanding affordable housing opportunities and improving the quality of life for underserved communities has been a critical component of SLC’s mission and business model. SLC is focused on identifying well-located housing sites, securing challenging entitlements, providing financial security, and providing in-house compliance expertise for seniors, Veterans, and the mentally ill homeless. In all, SLC has delivered more than 1,000 tax-credit and tax-exempt bond-based units, all within the Los Angeles County region. Founded in 2008 and repeatedly ranked in the Top 40 contactors in Los Angeles, SLC services Southern California out of its downtown Los Angeles Headquarters. To learn more, visit shangrilaconstruction.com.ABOUT STEP UP, INC.: Step Up is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides housing and support solutions to Veterans and adults experiencing chronic homelessness and who are also struggling with serious mental health issues. Their goal is to provide recovery, stability, and integration into the community. They boast a 97% retention rate for those they serve because they are a high-fidelity housing first provider. To learn more, visit stepuponsecond.org.