Construction Begins on Complex for Homeless

Construction has begun on an apartment complex for homeless families who are seeking permanent housing and full-time employment, replacing the cluster of trailers that has formed the Westwood Transitional Village since 1989.

The expanded facility at 1401 S. Sepulveda Blvd. will feature 41 apartments and a child-care facility, said Beverly Ventriss, a spokeswoman for the Salvation Army, which runs the program.

The $7.7-million, six-building Transitional Village has been funded by the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission, the California Equity Fund, and private funds raised by the Salvation Army. It should be completed by October 1999.

In the meantime, Ventriss said, the program is operating from the nearby Veterans Affairs building.

When the Salvation Army opened the Westwood Transitional Village nine years ago, it leased two acres from the federal government for $1 per year, and received 15 residential trailers from the city of Los Angeles.

In 1996, the site was permanently given to the Salvation Army, which agreed to serve homeless families there through 2026, Ventriss said.

More than 600 people have gone through the program, she said, with 95% finding work and independent housing.

Families typically stay in the village for six months to a year.

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