Advancing Housing and Wellness
in South Los Angeles
Western Avenue Renovation Project
Portals, a division of Pacific Clinics, developed a master plan for a renovation project to further enhance its program facilities in South Los Angeles. The goal of the Western Avenue Renovation Project (WARP) was to increase program space to create a new Recovery and Wellness Center, offering an array of comprehensive mental health support services (socialization, housing, education, and employment) for adults and older adults. Additionally, the project increased the number of transitional housing beds to support clients as they prepare to move into more independent living in supportive permanent housing options in the community. The goals of the Western Avenue Renovation Project were to:
§ Expand Service Capacity – add two group meeting rooms, spaces for socialization and wellness activities, two private counseling offices, eight transitional housing beds, and a “tenant college” learning environment to support clients in their move towards independent living.
§ Create New Program Opportunities – offer new program space for a variety of health and wellness programming, including exercise and fitness activities, health screenings, weight management counseling, nutrition education, smoking cessation assistance, and a variety of other complementary group programs.
§ Improve Access and Safety – install an elevator and make other ADA improvements that will allow physically disabled clients to access programs on the building’s second floor and, in addition, improve the security for the overall facility by limiting entry and exit to one central point.
South Los Angeles encompasses a population that ranks among the poorest and most disenfranchised – and, as a result, most in need of social services – in all of Los Angeles County. According to a recent homeless census, more than 20% of the County’s 83,000 homeless individuals are in South Los Angeles, and the area has the highest proportion of homeless public assistance recipients in the entire County (33%). Among the homeless in Los Angeles County, more than one-third are suffering from severe mental illness.
Through the recently-enacted Mental Health Services Act, Portals has received service contracts totaling nearly $1.5 million annually to provide a recovery and wellness program to complement its Full Service Partnership Programs for adults and older adults in South Los Angeles. With funding for the new program, more than 150 new clients will be served every year, which would bring our annual total to over 450, an increase of 50%. By enhancing our facilities and creating the S. Mark Taper Foundation Recovery and Wellness Center, Portals will be better able to address the significant need for additional mental health services in South Los Angeles.