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First Tiny Home Village For Homeless Population Opens In Los Angeles

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Tiny Home Village Homeless Shelter North Hollywood Los Angeles 1
Devon Miller / The Valley Post

A tiny home village for those experiencing homelessness has opened in North Hollywood on Monday, the first-ever in the City of Los Angeles.

Operated by the nonprofit Hope of Valley, and in partnership with L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian, the tiny home village on Chandler Street has 40 homes and 75 beds.

Ken Craft, CEO of Hope of Valley, said this innovative project is the first of its kind in Los Angeles, but won’t be the last. 

“This is the very first tiny home community in the City of Los Angeles,” Kraft said. “Personally and for Hope of the Valley, we are honored to the provider for the first one. I believe in this model, this will be a viable, sustainable for many people who are coming off the street.”

Each tiny home is equipped with heating, air conditioning, windows and at least one bed. The village offers another option for families and couples who are typically separated into separate housing areas.

“It creates an alternative,” Kraft said. “This site allows for separation, especially during COVID. It allows for couples and families to be together. For example, a mother with a special needs son is able to still care for them. In a congregate setting, that may not be possible.”

The units also allow for privacy, which is important for those who have experienced trauma in their lives, allowing them to feel safe, secure and to start the rebuilding process, he said.

Hope of the Valley, founded in the summer of 2009, operates nine shelters, two access centers and a job center.  The nonprofit currently provides 507 beds per night at various shelters throughout the San Fernando Valley housing single adults, families and transitional age youth.  

The number of beds is expected to increase throughout the upcoming year, Kraft said. 

In addition to the tiny home village on Chandler, Hope of the Valley plans on opening five shelters in 2021, in addition to the former Skateland location in Northridge which is expected to be transformed into a 110-bed facility. 

The new shelters are expected to double the number of beds in the San Fernando Valley to about 1,100 beds in one year. 

“Once you come here, you can finally breathe,” he said. “You can think beyond today, and anticipate tomorrow. Coming to a place like this, it’s a new lease on life, it is where hope begins.”

The nonprofit also offers wrap-around services including case management, job placement, housing navigators, substance abuse counseling, mental health services, among others.

In 2020, the homeless population in the San Fernando Valley and across Los Angeles County has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Craft said their shelters have had to reduce their housing capacity to 70% in order to comply with the new health regulations made necessary by the pandemic.

The organization’s manpower has also been affected, as shelters across the county have been forced to suspend their volunteer programs due to the current surge in cases.

Hope of the Valley operates Thrift Stores throughout the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and Simi Valley. To donate clothing or visit one of their stores, visit here. Food and clothing donations are also accepted at their Pacoima office located at 11076 Norris Street, Pacoima CA 91331.

The nonprofit relies heavily on donations and contributions from the community in order to operate. Those looking to donate, visit Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission.

Tiny Home Village Homeless Shelter North Hollywood Los Angeles 3
Devon Miller / The Valley Post

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Santa Clarita Gears Up For ‘Bike to Work Challenge’

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Santa-Clarita-Bike To Work Day
Photo Courtesy of the California Bicycle Coalition

The City of Santa Clarita invites local businesses and their employees to participate in the annual Bike to Work Challenge.

The week-long challenge begins Monday, May 10, through Friday, May 14. Residents are encouraged to take the online pledge to be entered into a raffle for free prizes.

The Bike to Work Challenge is a competition among Santa Clarita businesses to rally their employees to bike to work and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Businesses that are registered to participate and have the most participation in their size category will win a free lunch to a local restaurant of their choice, according to the City.

Interested businesses are required to designate a “lead rider” who will act as a point of contact for the organization in addition to registering their businesses for Santa Clarita’s Bike to Work Challenge. 

Lead riders should register online here and must submit a list of those at their company who participated by May 17 to Laura Jardine, City event coordinator for the Bike to Work Challenge, at (661) 255-4376 or ljardine@santa-clarita.com.

In place of pit stops, the City has extended the challenge to a week-long format, giving residents more opportunities to participate and win prizes, including cycling gear, gift certificates and more.

To encourage participants with longer commutes to participate, Santa Clarita Transit will be offering free local rides to anyone with a bike and/or helmet, according to the City.

Visit here to learn more about the Bike to Work Challenge. For additional information about upcoming cycling events, including the Hit the Trail Bike Ride, visit here.

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Third Free Catalytic Converter Etching Event To Be Hosted By SCV Sheriff’s Station

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catalytic-converter-theft.jpg
Photo by Seth Sawyers

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is set to host a third free catalytic converter etching event this month after increased thefts in the area.

For the third installment of the event, organizers are offering more dates and an additional location are being offered so that more vehicles can be serviced, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, spokesperson for the station.

The SCV Sheriff’s Station, in partnership with Reeves Complete Auto Center and Canyon Muffler in Canyon Country and RG Brake & Alignment in Valencia, is scheduled to host the event on May 11, 18, 25, 26 and 27. 

“Help #GuardThatAuto by getting your vehicle’s license plate etched onto its’ catalytic converter,” station officials said in a statement. “Doing so helps deputies locate its original owner in the event it is stolen and recovered.”

In March, over a dozen people were arrested and 250 catalytic converters — valued at about $750,000 — were recovered in an operation on Wednesday, stemming from an investigation in Santa Clarita. 

In a proactive approach to lower catalytic converter theft, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Crime Impact Team (CIT) led a search warrant operation on March 10, centered in the City of Los Angeles, according to Arriaga.

“Theft of catalytic converters has been a growing trend in 2020, with a 400% increase throughout Los Angeles County, and a significant increase in the Santa Clarita Valley as well,” Arriaga said at the time.

Catalytic converters are attached to the exhaust system of a vehicle. They contain precious metals and can be “scrapped” for a quick profit, according to the spokesperson.

This event is offered to Santa Clarita Valley residents by appointment, with limited availability, based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Those interested in booking an appointment are encouraged to contact Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Deputy Borbon of Community Relations at ka1borbo@lasd.org. 

Appointments will only be scheduled by Deputy Borbon and not by the auto centers, according to station officials.

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L.A. County Public Library To Reopen 30 Additional Locations On May 10

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Los Angeles County Public Library

Los Angeles County Library announced this week it will reopen an additional 30 of its 85 libraries for select in-person service beginning May 10, as the county nears the “yellow” tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. 

The scheduled reopening will raise the total number of reopened libraries to 60 across L.A. County at 75% capacity, while also maintaining six feet of physical distance for customers.

“In preparation for reopening additional doors to the public, LA County Library is working diligently to ensure safety protocols are met and appropriate preventative measures are in place,” officials said in a statement. 

The additional libraries that are scheduled to reopen are part of a phased reopening plan that prioritizes library openings based on geographic location, building availability, and the ability to accommodate physical distance guidelines and Public Health protocols. The library has placed an emphasis on equity with special consideration for reopening libraries in underserved areas where residents prioritize in-person services.

The additional libraries that are scheduled to reopen starting May 10 include Acton Agua Dulce Library, Castaic Library and Topanga Library, among others.

Additional libraries across the county will be added to the library’s reopening plan.

On April 19, L.A. County Library reopened its first 30 locations including  Stevenson Ranch in the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as Lancaster, and Quartz Hill in the Antelope Valley.

Outdoor programming for a limited number of participants will begin in early summer 2021 and will be available at select libraries. 

Sidewalk service and book drops will remain available at participating libraries. L.A. County Library continues to offer enhanced digital offerings, including a temporary digital library card to access eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, online classes and more.

To view the current list of reopened libraries, visit the library reopening page here.

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