Bridge Home in San Pedro
Where can the homeless in the South Bay go for temporary shelter? Those at the homeless encampment at Lomita Blvd and McCoy Ave and other areas can go to the Bridge Home in San Pedro, at the Port of Los Angeles near the USS Iowa. Opened this July 2020 and operated by nonprofit Harbor Interfaith, the shelter has 100 beds separated in cubicles in a shiny, new prefabricated structure. But for the COVID pandemic, the shelter would provide onsite mental health, substance abuse, and other counseling services. Clients can stay for 90 days, with an opportunity to extend their stay. Advocates work to place the homeless in permanent housing, such as low rent apartments with Section 8 housing vouchers. Operating at 75 percent capacity because of the pandemic, the shelter currently has a wait list of 40 to 50 people.
The homeless can bring their pets in the shelter. While they stay in the shelter, some leave their tents and possessions in their homeless community, which, according to Shari Weaver of Harbor Interfaith, looks out for each other to prevent theft during their absence.
The Bridge Home provides 24-hour security. The shelter was constructed in 90 days.
I learned so much about the lives of the homeless from Shari and Anthony Bright of Harbor Interfaith, who gave me the tour on Friday. Working with the homeless for 20 years, Shari told me no one chooses to be homeless, but some cannot be helped until they are “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”