City of Hawthorne logoThe City of Hawthorne is proud to report on the continual expansion of its efforts to address homelessness. The City’s Bridge of Hope Community Housing project reached a significant milestone: Hawthorne’s housing services department maintained successful occupancy of all 12 pallet homes during its first year in operation

Bridge of Hope officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 11, 2023. Situated on a 3800-square-foot City-owned lot at 131st St. and Simms Ave., the project offers interim shelter with a targeted stay of 90 to 180 days.

“We’ve created a 5-year plan to combat homelessness in Hawthorne, and one of our key aims was to create more housing for those unhoused,” said City Manager Vontray Norris. “I am proud of the resources offered by Bridge of Hope and am intent on expanding this assistance.”

Each of the 64-square-foot pallet homes is outfitted with essential amenities, including lockable doors and windows, secure ventilation, a folding bed with a custom-fit mattress, a folding desk, electricity, a wall-mounted heater, an air conditioner, a fire extinguisher, a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector, slip-resistant floors, and storage. Additionally, the community provides access to a kitchen, ingredient pantry, and laundry room.

Residents of Bridge of Hope are partnered with service providers upon moving in, receiving assistance with job training, access to three daily meals, housing navigation, medical care, and connection to additional services offered by Hawthorne’s housing and homelessness staff.

Funding for the Bridge of Hope Community Housing project is made possible through various sources, including CDBG CARES Act dollars, the American Rescue Plan Act awards, Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) grants, and a HOME American Rescue Plan (ARP) allocation.

Outside of Bridge of Hope, the City of Hawthorne is expanding housing opportunities through use of emergency housing vouchers and its participation in the Pathway Home Program. The Los Angeles County initiative provides interim housing in hotel rooms, alongside a permanent housing match and the City’s wrap-around support services. These services include case management, housing navigation, health and medical referrals, and mental health referrals.

The City connects with individuals experiencing homelessness through dedicated daily outreach efforts and relationship building. Then, staff act as a bridge between individuals and a variety of resources, including Hawthorne programs like Bridge of Hope, or organizations like the Los Angeles Center for Alcohol and Drug use (LACADA) that provide specialized services. City staff also work to ensure community access to healthcare through the Venice Medical Mobile Clinic, telehealth appointments, and therapy sessions.

Housing and Homelessness Resources Program staff also work one-on-one with unhoused community members to secure necessary documents for housing placement and program participation, which include a California ID, social security number, and birth certificate. “I am very proud to say that 80 to 90% of our clients have those three important documents, or are in the process of getting them,” said Program Manager Dulce Medina.

Medina expressed pride about the City’s success with both permanent and interim housing placement and the continual expansion of her department. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked with the city that is so forward-thinking in its pursuit of change,” she said. “Hawthorne doesn’t just wait around for a third party to come in and try and assist us with the housing crisis. We’re very proactive in putting our heads together and saying, ‘OK, what can we do?'”

To learn more about the City of Hawthorne’s housing resources and homelessness initiatives, please visit the Housing and Homelessness Resources webpage.