Members of the community were invited Saturday, March 7, to check out the temporary homeless shelter at Eighth and Beacon streets in San Pedro.

The building, which housed a clinic owned by Los Angeles County before it was moved, began accepting residents this past week.

The 40-bed shelter is intended to be in place for just three years. A developer is already being sought to build homes and commercial space on the block after that.

The program, which aims to bring residents in from the nearby encampment that’s surrounded San Pedro’s Main Post Office for years, will offer counseling and health services to prepare individuals to move into more permanent housing over the course of just a few months.

Homelessness has become the most visible problem facing both Los Angeles city and county, with the 2019 homeless count showing drastic spikes in the population; the results of the 2020 survey have not yet been released.

Plans to build temporary and permanent housing, however, had been expensive and slow to materialize.

The county hit the accelerator in January, with the Board of Supervisors opting to make use of a newly vacated public health building in the middle of San Pedro’s encampment area.

The facility will have a similar operating model as the city’s Bridge Home shelters, offering round-the-clock security and intensive wrap-around services that include substance abuse counselors, mental health treatment provided by the County Department of Mental Health and Harbor Interfaith staff working to connect residents with long-term housing. Meals are provided on the premises.

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