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Homeless Shelter Opening on Ventura Blvd.

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The Woodlands, the homeless shelter for families on Ventura Blvd., will open in just a few weeks.

Hope The Mission is opening the 400-bed shelter at the site of the old 818 Hotel just west of Winnetka.

Saying that “we are in a crisis in the City of Los Angeles,” Hope The Mission’s President Rowan Vansleve and founder Ken Craft said The Woodlands will offer homeless families shelter, three meals a day and job training. The old Denny’s on the site will become a child care center for those families.

Community leaders, residents, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath and Councilman Bob Blumenfield visited the facility for a ribbon cutting and tours of the facility, which is painted bright green and pink because as Craft said, “This is what hope looks like.” 

Horvath said, “It took every part of government to make this project happen,” and thanked Craft for his tireless advocacy.

Blumenfield said that the Winnetka underpass was the inspiration for his 41.18 initiative, which bans homeless from 1,000 feet of a shelter, saying the area is actually safer now that the shelter is in place with the buffer zone around it.  

Several residents and the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization have expressed concerns about having a homeless shelter directly across the street from Taft High School. 

Craft reiterated that there will be on-site security and no visitors will be allowed. Drugs and alcohol are also banned at the shelter.

Blumenfield is also establishing a community committee to deal with issues as they arise, similar to one he set up for the tiny homes community he established in Reseda.

Tours of The Woodlands will be offered on Saturday, May 27. For more information or to register for a tour visit

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