SLNC and Area Neighborhood Councils Unite to Bring Services to Homeless Residents

Members of the Homelessness in Silver Lake Committee are collaborating with other neighborhood councils and the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition to bring more services to communities in this part of Los Angeles. Six neighborhood councils in the area (Silver Lake, Echo Park, Cypress Park, Los Feliz, Atwater Village and Glassell Park) submitted letters to the L.A. City Council requesting a service center in their neighborhoods to serve homeless residents. In May, a Service Center Report identifying 85 possible sites was produced by SELAH and presented to the community in partnership with the neighborhood councils. Over 50 community members and homelessness activists attended the meeting, which was held at the Silver Lake Public Library.

According to committee co-chairs Nithya V. Raman and Darius Derakshan, SELAH volunteers have engaged with homeless residents in Silver Lake since July of 2017 and found that there was a lack of easily accessible resources.

“Homeless individuals and families need much more than just shelter beds. To help people build relationships with service providers and move into housing, a range of services like walk-in case management, storage facilities, showers, laundry, mail and safe parking are needed, “ said Derakshan.

According to Raman and Derakshan, in the weeks following the report and presentation the Homeless Committee and SELAH have been laser-focused on the hunt for viable locations for services in this area. The group has had productive discussions with CD4 David Ryu’s planning deputy, Catherine Landers; CD13 Mitch O’Farrell’s planning deputy, Craig Bullock; Mayor Garcetti’s Central Area representative, Robert Park; and Sheila Kuehl’s housing and homelessness deputy, Molly Rysman.

City and county elected officials and their staffs are in the beginning phases of reviewing locations and suggestions for services that may be offered. The Homelessness Committee will publish details on potential developments as information becomes available.