Last Friday marked the virtual Grand Opening of The Willows, the first bridge housing facility to open in the Valley West of the 405.

It is an unfortunately common occurrence in Los Angeles. Illness or loss of a job can quickly snowball into financial disaster, leaving people without the money they need to pay rent. Frequently, when seeking bridge housing, partners are forced to either separate or remain homeless, since most facilities are separated by gender. In moment of incredible vulnerability, this can cause immense emotional distress and even deter people from utilizing the housing they need to get back on their feet.

The Willows in Canoga Park is the first bridge housing for couples – housing that is both partner- and pet friendly. It recognizes that people experiencing homelessness deserve housing that meets people’s most deeply human needs.

In addition to The Willows, in the last few weeks, significant progress has been made in addressing homelessness in the San Fernando Valley. LA County broke ground on multiple projects which will provide affordable and supportive housing to families, adults, and seniors:

• Bell Creek Apartments – new 80-unit project in Canoga Park
• Reseda Theater – new 26-unit project in Reseda
• Sun Commons – new 103-unit project in North Hollywood
• Silva Crossing – new 56-unit apartment in Sylmar

Each of these small steps forward represents a potentially life-changing opportunity for the people LA County can help house. They are important achievements in the overarching goal to reduce homelessness and expand housing options for LA County residents.

Continued collaboration between the LA County, the City of LA, and trusted homeless service providers is the key to moving these projects forward. LA County and Supervisor Kuehl extend their gratitude to Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Blumenfield for their commitment to keeping The Willows moving forward despite challenges, and to Stephanie Klasky-Gamer and LA Family Housing for their vision.

Click here to watch the virtual grand opening!