The Los Angeles City Council approved funding that would help jump start the cafe at Step Up on Vine, establish a job training program for the formerly homeless residents, and help create a more vibrant intersection in the heart of Hollywood, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell announced today.
The Step Up on Vine Cafe is located on the ground floor of a three story structure that was recently converted and renovated to provide permanent supportive housing for individuals who were formerly homeless. The 34 unit facility welcomed its first resident back in March of 2013, but until now the cafe space remained empty due to lack of funding.
“This is another important step in helping our homeless neighbors while creating a more vibrant street presence on Vine Street,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “The approved funding will help get the cafe up and running, as well as integrate our formerly homeless individuals with mainstream society. This project will be one more step to helping end homelessness and mental illness, and the stigma that comes with it.”
The funds will come from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and will be administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“We’re tremendously appreciative to Councilmember O’Farrell and the city for helping to fund the completion of Step Up on Vine,” said Tod Lipka, of Step Up. “The building houses what were some of the most vulnerable individuals experiencing mental health issues and chronic homelessness who were on the streets of Hollywood. This support enables us to take the next steps to integrate these neighbors into the community and achieve a sense of belonging that is so important to us. After all there is nothing that gives us a sense of belonging more than a job.”
In addition to the cafe, the ground floor of Step Up on Vine includes community space, as well as a computer access for residents.
Step Up on Vine was created in an effort to help end the rising number of chronically homeless individuals in Los Angeles, and is the collaborative effort of Step Up on Second and Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (HCHC).
Step Up on Vine was formerly the Galaxy Inn. Originally built in the 1920s, the building was renovated and retrofitted for permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals with mental health issues. The building is LEED Certified Platinum located just south of Santa Monica Blvd. at 1057 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038.
PHOTO CREDIT: Stand Up