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Empty Hollywood library will be converted to women’s shelter

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The bridge housing site will have 30 beds

Rendering of Hollywood shelter
A rendering of the completed shelter.
Courtesy Councilmember David Ryu

Construction officially kicked off today on a project that will convert a shuttered Hollywood library into temporary housing for up to 30 homeless women.

Located at 1403 North Gardner Street, near the West Hollywood border, the building once housed the Will and Ariel Durant branch of the Los Angeles Public Library system (now located on Sunset Boulevard).

It’s only a mile and a half from the site of another bridge housing shelter in Hollywood, which got under construction last month and will include 70 beds for residents.

But unlike that project, the Gardner shelter isn’t funded by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s A Bridge Home program. Announced by Garcetti in April, the initiative is aimed at developing temporary homeless shelters in all 15 of the city’s council districts, where residents can get connected with case managers able to help them find permanent housing.

Plans for bridge housing at the empty library building predate Garcetti’s program. The project was proposed last year by Councilmember David Ryu and will be funded through Measure HHH, a sales tax bump to pay for homeless housing that LA voters approved in 2016.

The women’s shelter will have on-site staff and services available for residents.

Since Garcetti’s program got underway, Hollywood has become something of a hub for bridge housing centers like this one. Another women’s shelter at a historic apartment complex that housed actresses during Hollywood’s Golden Age is also under construction.

In other neighborhoods, the shelters have not been as popular. Residents of Koreatown, Venice, and Wilmington have fiercely protested bridge housing in those areas. At a community meeting in Sherman Oaks, residents shouted over Ryu as he tried to discuss plans for a shelter there.