July 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Ted Lieu (CA-33) and Katie Hill (CA-25) announced that the effort to authorize the West Los Angeles National Guard Armory to expand its homeless shelter services passed a major hurdle thanks to provisions in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act. The effort, spearheaded in the House by Lieu and Hill, modifies the deed at the West LA Armory to allow a shelter to operate on the property year-round. If the measure is signed into law, the County plans to construct a shelter that will provide 24/7 housing with intensive case management services including mental health and physical health services. In April, Rep. Lieu, Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Harris introduced legislation that became the framework for this NDAA provision.  As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Congresswoman Hill was integral in ensuring the language was included in the Defense Authorization bill.  The U.S. Senate must now consider its Defense Authorization measure and the two bills will then be conferenced.

"Homelessness is a pressing concern in my district and throughout Southern California,” Rep. Lieu said. “The Armory’s newly planned year-round shelter will give more people access to temporary housing and social services. I owe thanks to Rep. Hill for championing this as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as Supervisor Kuehl, Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Bonin and the National Guard for their support of this effort. I’m glad we’re able to support this project, and I will continue to fight for more funding to address the challenging problem of homelessness.”

"I've spent my entire career working to address the issue of homelessness, as the former executive director of California's largest homelessness services organization,” Rep. Hill said. “Through my position on the House Armed Services Committee, I was honored to work with Rep. Lieu's office, as well as our city and county stakeholders back in Los Angeles, to ensure that the Armory's year-round shelter will give our most vulnerable community members access to the shelter and services they need. I'm proud to  champion our state, local, and federal partnerships and address the absolutely critical issue of homelessness, both locally and across our country."

"Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis — an urgent and complex problem facing our city, state, and nation — and we can only tackle this emergency if we reverse decades of federal disinvestment and inaction," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "With the leadership of Congressman Lieu and Congresswoman Hill, today's vote is a sign that Congress is prepared to be our partner in expanding services and bridge housing at the West L.A. Armory, and delivering health care and hope to our homeless neighbors."   

"This shelter is going to literally save lives by getting people off the street,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Thanks to the hard work of Representatives Lieu and Hill and Senators Feinstein and Harris, people are going to have a safe and clean alternative to living in sidewalk encampments. I am enormously grateful for the work of our Members of Congress, Mayor Garcetti, Supervisor Kuehl and all who helped get this shelter expanded.”

About the proposed bridge housing:

Currently, a winter shelter is run out of the Armory that does not provide 24 hour service and care. With the creation of a year-round shelter, more individuals will have access to case management services and will not be forced to leave the facilities during the day.