‘We Love LA!’ Event Honors Madison Hotel’s Transition as Housing for Homeless

OPEN HOUSE & PRESS CONF: Wednesday, February 14th 10:30 AM to 1:30pm

Also: New ‘Homeless’ billboards echo iconic ‘Hollywood’ sign, cut to the heart of the crisis in L.A. and also expose bureaucrats’ lax response (See: ‘LAScandal.org’)

LOS ANGELES (February 14, 2018) On Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, February 14th, advocates and officials with ‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF,’ a new program spearheaded by AHF to address the housing crisis by providing faster access to transitional and longer-term housing with a focus on addressing the needs of low-income individuals and those unsheltered or homeless, are opening their doors—and their hearts—with a Valentine’s Day ‘We Love LA!’ open house and press event at the Madison Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles (423 E. 7th Street LA, CA 90014).

The open house will showcase the Foundation’s work-in-progress repurposing the Madison Hotel, a 220 room Single-Room-Occupancy (SRO) hotel on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, into transitional housing for the homeless and low-income individuals, with priority placement offered to those with chronic health conditions.

Background on ‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’ and the Madison Hotel & Sunset 8 Motel
The launch of the ‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’ is part of a community-based effort to address the exploding housing and homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. AHF purchased the Madison Hotel[1], in Downtown L.A. in October 2017, followed quickly by the January, 2018 purchase of a 27-room motel[2]  in the heart of Hollywood known as the Sunset 8 Motel.

‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’ is renovating and upgrading both the former Sunset 8 and the Madison and is prioritizing housing placements for individuals—and in the case of the Sunset 8, individuals AND families—with chronic health conditions (but not necessarily HIV or AIDS). The Madison had approximately 80 tenants in place at the time of the purchase, and NO Madison tenants have been or will be displaced or evicted as that transition and renovation process continues to unfold.

New ‘Homeless’ Billboard Campaign Echoes Famed ‘Hollywood’ sign; Lacerates Lax Bureaucrats In addition to the open house and press briefing at the Madison Hotel on Valentine’s Day, a striking new ‘Homeless’ billboard campaign intended put the spotlight on the burgeoning homeless and housing crisis in Los Angeles as well as what many advocates see as a lax, insufficiently urgent response from bureaucrats and elected officials, launched this week with at least 15 billboards posted throughout Greater Los Angeles.

The ‘Homeless’ billboards echo the iconic ‘Hollywood’ sign, except that in a subtle, ironic take, the billboard replaces the letters after the “H” and the “O” in “HOLLYWOOD” to spell out “HOMELESS.”

“Simply swapping out seven letters from the word ‘Hollywood’ and replacing them with six from the word ‘Homeless,’ in the format of the iconic Hollywood sign creates an ironic, powerful and visceral new message that cuts to the heart of the crisis here in Los Angeles and is one that many Angelenos will immediately relate to or identify with,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF.

The only additional text on the ‘Homeless’ billboard is the web address for ‘LAScandal.org’ (done in the style of the ubiquitous green Caltrans freeway signs posted throughout the state) where viewers of the billboards and the public can get information on the homeless crisis, learn about the sclerotic response from government and elected officials and find links to directly contact their L.A. City Council Member or L.A. County Supervisor to urge them to act decisively and more quickly to address the crisis.

Snapshot of The Housing Crisis: Los Angeles

  • The 2017 homeless count in Los Angeles County was nearly 58,000 (57,794), a 23% INCREASE from 2016
  • The sharp rise, to nearly 58,000, suggested that the pathway into homelessness continues to outpace intensifying efforts that — through rent subsidies, new construction, outreach and support services — got more than 14,000 people permanently off the streets last year. (Los Angeles Times, 5/31/17 by Doug Smith & Gale Holland)
  • Homelessness also increased sharply in the City of Los Angeles in 2017, where the count of just over 34,000 was UP 20% from 2016. (L.A. Times 5/31/17)

[1] The purchase price for the Madison Hotel was $7,575,000, (the parking lot was $450K – total $8,025,000.00 less a repair credit of $25K and a donation of $50K to AHF – net price $7,950,000) or approximately $36K per room or unit.

[2] The purchase price for the 27-room Sunset 8 Motel was $4.6 million, or $170,370 per room or unit.