A 40-bed, pet-friendly homeless shelter with showers, laundry, health care specialists, casework services, community rooms and 24-hour security opened Monday in a formerly vacant building in San Pedro.
The building is in the 100 block of West Eighth Street, near South Harbor Boulevard, and was formerly the Los Angeles County Public Health Clinic. It was turned into a homeless shelter in six weeks, after being approved by the Board of Supervisors in mid-January, according to Liz Odendahl, director of communications for Supervisor Janice Hahn.
The shelter, which is operated by the non-profit organization Harbor Interfaith, has 25 beds for women and 15 beds for men, and each resident is given a combination locker next to their bed, two plastic bins under their bed for their possessions, and a two-gallon bin in an outside storage area, Odendahl said.
Residents with pets can put their animals in a kennel at the foot of their bed, and the parking lot has an enclosed dog run for the animals to exercise.
The facility has three community rooms with televisions and books, so residents can stay during the day, according to Odendahl.
"Incoming residents will receive on-site case management, mental health services and will work with a housing coordinator to find long-term housing," Odendahl said. "Residents will be allowed to stay at the shelter until they are matched with permanent housing."
Los Angeles County set aside $300,000 to refurbish the building for the shelter, which will operate for three years while the county and city work on long-term plans to develop the site into housing, according to Odendahl. The operation costs for the facility are estimated to be $1.1 million a year.
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Harbor Interfaith is seeking donations such as new white T-shirts, grey sweats, cotton socks, toiletries and laundry detergent, Odendahl said.
Donations can be dropped off at the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce at 390 W. Seventh St. between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.