Los Angeles, CA: June 29, 2022—
Wellnest, L.A.’s leading emotional health and wellness organization serving children and families, will celebrate the grand opening on Friday, July 8, of The Nest on Florence—David & Susan Hirsch Building
, its first permanent supportive housing project for young people and families at risk for chronic homelessness.
The Nest on Florence, located at 410 E. Florence Ave. in Los Angeles, will help vulnerable young adults ages 18-25 “forge new pathways to long-term independence,” said Charlene Dimas-Peinado, President and CEO of Wellnest. “These young men and women are resilient, courageous and filled with promise. We are pleased to be part of their journey.”
The 5-story, 40,848-square foot David & Susan Hirsch Building, named in honor of two sustaining donors, features 34 studios of about 420 square feet, 16 one-bedrooms at 428 square feet, and one two-bedroom manager’s apartment.
The unique development also provides a supportive network of on-site services from Wellnest, designed to serve youth and young parents who are at risk for or have experienced homelessness, may be aging out of the foster care system and who have a mental health condition that can inhibit their ability to maintain stable housing.
Even before the pandemic, youth homelessness was at an all-time high in South Los Angeles. According to the National Association of Home Builders, Los Angeles is the least affordable housing market in the U.S.
“Studies show that nearly 5,000 young people experience homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles,” added Dimas-Peinado.
Nearly 30% of Los Angeles County’s homeless youth, 18-25, are former foster children who lack the specialized support needed to overcome barriers to housing and independence. Others are transitioning from the probation system or are young parents who must juggle the demands of school, work and family.
The Nest on Florence—Wellnest’s first permanent supportive housing development—deepens the behavioral health organization’s commitment to housing services. In 2017, Wellnest launched Hope for Housing LA to advance a housing program in which young people learn to live independently with a roommate and receive targeted support to prepare them for permanent housing.
Between ages 18-25 is a critical time, when young adults experience the highest prevalence of mental illness of any age group. Yet nearly half of those don’t get help.
The Nest on Florence has been designed to provide a sense of community, with a lobby, community recreation area, offices for property management and support services staff, on-site laundry facilities, secure bike parking, and an outdoor common area. Residents also can access health and wellbeing support and life skills training, as well as education and employment assistance.
Wellnest conducted a successful capital campaign, Housing for Promise, to raise funds for completion of the innovative project, which also received $12 million in public funding.
The grand opening is scheduled for 10:00 am on Friday, July 8, at The Nest on Florence. It is expected to draw a stellar list of local representatives, community leaders, government representatives, donors and friends of Wellnest who share a commitment to equity in housing services.