LOS ANGELES - "Safe Sleep Village" in East Hollywood is helping break up homeless encampments and the monthly cost of a space is fiscally equal to what many Angelenos would consider a month’s worth of rent, and the project is being funded with your tax dollars.
A first for the city of Los Angeles, the parking lot has been turned into "Safe Sleep Village," and each person gets their own tent with services such as security, sanitation, food and counseling.
The tents cost about $2,600 a month per space, which includes site preparation fees and food services. LA City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell considers the village a worthy investment in people.
"Safe Sleep Village provides people experiencing homelessness with a safe, secure environment managed by caring professionals and is a humane and thoughtful way to connect to unhoused individuals to resources, and ultimately, permanent housing," O’Farrell said in a statement to FOX 11.
The community currently has an estimated 70 residents and can accommodate up to 100. The plan is to convert the lot into a building with permanent supportive housing down the road.
"It’s just a little spot to have my own stuff. I came here for treatment," said Matt Travaglione who moved to Los Angeles from New Jersey.
He was living on the streets when he saw the tents pop up and thought he would give it a try.
"It’s a safe place to sleep," he added.
Joseph Gambino also lives in the community. The 44-year-old is a former tattoo artist from New York City. Despite falling on hard times, he has hope for a better tomorrow.
"I’ve been here for three and a half weeks and me and my wife are on the list go to Tiny Homes and from there, we'll be on our way to get our apartment," Gambino said.
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The pilot program could be expanded and has been done in other cities.
The community is run by Urban Alchemy SF, which is the same organization that provided outreach in Echo Park.