LAUSD will need $4 million more to build new homeless shelters

L.A.’s winter homeless shelter gets an upgrade: motel vouchers

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LAUSD Homeless Youth Shelters, which opened in 2013 on skid row, is about to get a new face.

On Friday, the first homeless children’s shelter in the country will be joined by a motel voucher on a new campus in the Harbor Gateway District.

The $958,700 renovation is the largest single cost of a district-wide homeless shelter project in LAUSD history. With $1.2 million from the state and $1.3 million from the city, the new shelter will house 250 children.

The new building won’t house homeless adults, instead serving them in a smaller room off to the side. Homeless adults will be placed in a “family style” dormitory at the downtown Los Angeles area campus. There are also plans to add a large parking lot.

The renovated shelters, part of the city’s “Vision Zero” plan to end street homelessness, are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s plan to build 100 new homeless youth shelters by 2020.

The city is already building seven shelters.

While the city’s $6.7 billion 2014 budget allocated $1.6 million for homeless kids in 2015-16, the L.A. Unified School District will need to allocate $4 million more by next year to start the construction of the new homeless shelters.

The new shelter campus will be “a model for the country,” said John Wooten, the district’s general superintendent.

“We are building a prototype shelter for other districts in the country to use,” Wooten said.

The district will build more shelters than it did last year because more families with children are being served by the shelter each day, Wooten said.

The district is planning to start the new shelter project in 2016-17 and will take about two years to complete.

Officials said the project will serve homeless families and children who have been living, sleeping or sleeping on the streets.

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