Nonprofit Converts Los Angeles Motels into Housing for Homeless Veterans

LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Many veterans find the hardships of post-military life leading them to homelessness.

Data from the most recent homeless tally in 2020 shows that approximately 3,900 of the more than 66,000 homeless in Los Angeles County are U.S. veterans.

There is an effort to help these vets – by converting unused hotels.

For example, the Center Lake Hotel in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles sat nearly empty for three years.

But work is underway to transform the building into an apartment complex with 137 units for homeless veterans.

Tod Lipka, CEO of the nonprofit Step Up Second Street, said it was one of three motels in town that are being converted into long-term housing for homeless veterans.

“It is permanent housing for veterans,” he said. “They will have a lease and they can live here for the rest of their lives.”

The Home Depot non-profit foundation gave a boost with a donation of $ 400,000.

Lipka says Step Up has a 97% success rate in keeping homeless veterans in housing for at least a year. Even with thousands of people on the streets, he hopes this will be a long-term solution for at least a few of them.

The project is expected to be completed in two months.

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