“I don’t want to risk my house, my family and my community,” Rader said. While downtown mission officials say they have a proper permit to house homeless mothers and kids, county officials insist the mission must file for a new conditional-use permit, a process that could take from six to nine months. On Thursday, homeless advocates and city officials cited a new study on the worsening plight of thousands of homeless families. “All we want to do is to get women and children out to our facility in Sylmar,” Union Rescue Mission President Andy Bales said during a news conference downtown. “It’s not just law, it’s politics, and it’s going to take some courage to do the right thing.” The Hope Gardens Family Center planned for Lopez Canyon near the Angeles National Forest would be housed in a former retirement community known as Foresters Haven. The Union Rescue Mission of Skid Row searched five years to find a rustic site suitable for a long-term women’s and children’s homeless shelter. But after borrowing $7.5 million to buy 71 oak-studded acres east of Sylmar, the mission’s plans to open Hope Gardens Family Center have hit a political and legal snag. Nearby residents who oppose the transitional center proposed for 250 moms and kids have complained to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who has traditionally opposed projects unsupported by locals. “It’s just too big, too big for the community,” said Marlene Rader, 49, among the 280 families with horse properties in Kagel Canyon a mile from the Hope Gardens property. Residents, now voting on the issue, have expressed concerns about potential fires, crime and transportation problems associated with the shelter. Its bucolic setting and lodge-style buildings would serve as transitional housing for up to 76 families from the Skid Row mission. Officials there had hoped to open the center in time for the fall school opening. “Children need places to play, to go to school, to thrive,” Councilwoman Jan Perry, who represents Skid Row, told reporters. City officials point to the plight of 1,600 women and children struggling to live on Skid Row, of which 25 percent hail from the San Fernando Valley. The study, “Operating at Capacity: Family Shelters in Los Angeles County,” said soaring housing costs have contributed to the more than 8,000 homeless families across the county each night. The study found that homeless parents had special needs, including substance-abuse problems (17.4 percent), mental illness (5.8 percent) or both (10.7 percent). Among the study’s findings: Short-term housing meets the needs of only 25 percent of families needing help. Families are staying in shelters longer because of high rents, while 31 percent move from one shelter to another. Eviction, because of an inability to pay rent, is the most common cause of family homelessness (32.6 percent). “We found a system that is struggling to meet the needs of families who are getting poorer by the day,” said Ruth Schwartz, founder of Shelter Partnership, a Los Angeles social service agency that conducted the study. “Families are running out of time. They need assistance.” Both county Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Antonovich, whose district contains Hope Gardens, have yet to take positions on the shelter. While Bales said Union Rescue Mission has the legal right to transfer the conditional-use permit for Forester Haven to the homeless community of Hope Gardens, county officials differ. “Their legal council does not understand land use issues,” said Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell, “because an application for a (permit) is required.” Bales, who is trying to raise $18 million to support the shelter, said time is of the essence. “If we don’t intervene in the lives of these children,” he said, “they’re going to grow into homeless adults.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Scottsdale, Ariz. – InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Crown Realty & Development announced today the opening of the first U.S. resort—InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa—in Paradise Valley, a residential enclave of Scottsdale, Ariz.The much-anticipated luxury resort is situated at the coveted location off Tatum and Lincoln boulevards, providing guests convenient access to optimum shopping districts, dining, hiking and recreation and entertainment venues in Phoenix and Scottsdale. The 34-acre resort includes 253 luxurious guest rooms and 40 suites including 2 presidential suites, 34 luxurious detached, single-family Villas, six unique restaurants and venues, a private wedding chapel, a 31,000-square foot destination spa and salon, five pools, and more than 27,000 square feet of meeting and event space.InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa reflects its European influences from the décor to dining experiences. The resort’s suites, such as the Andalusian and Camelback suites, offer 3,000 square feet of indoor living space, in addition to a private event lawn and pool. All guest rooms provide the latest in modern technology, including flat-screen televisions, high-speed Internet access, fully stocked mini bar, custom feather beds, large working areas, and large tiled bathrooms with oversized sunken bathtubs and large walk-in showers with dual showerheads.“The importance of this beautiful property to the legacy of InterContinental Hotels cannot be measured,” said Tom Murray, Chief Operating Officer, Americas, for InterContinental Hotels Group. “We are welcoming a truly fantastic property to a line-up of legendary hotels around the world.”www.icmontelucia.com.