Press Releases

Members seek to include legislation in defense bill

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala D. Harris and Congressman Ted Lieu (all D-Calif.) today introduced legislation (S.974) that would allow the West Los Angeles National Guard Armory to operate as a year-round homeless shelter. The armory is currently used as a temporary shelter only during the winter months.

In a letter to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, the members requested that the legislation be included in the next National Defense Authorization Act.

“In addition to its use as a National Guard Armory, the state has allowed it to be used as a temporary shelter for homeless persons, solely during the winter season, for more than 10 years,” the members wrote.

“Unfortunately, Los Angeles County is facing a homeless crisis that is compounded by a shortage of year-round homeless shelters. There are nearly 53,000 persons experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County on any given night, with over 31,000 who have no other option but to sleep on the streets. While the use of the armory during the winter months provides refuge from inclement weather, the ability to use the armory year-round would help the county to better address this crisis.”

Full text of the legislation can be viewed HERE.     

Full text of the letter follows:

April 1, 2019

The Honorable James Inhofe
Chairman
Senate Committee on Armed Services
Russell Senate Building, Room 228

The Honorable Jack Reed
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Armed Services
Russell Senate Building, Room 228

The Honorable Adam Smith
Chairman
House Armed Services Committee
2216 Rayburn House Office Building

The Honorable Mac Thornberry
Ranking Member
House Armed Services Committee
2216 Rayburn House Office Building

Dear Chairmen Inhofe and Smith, and Ranking Members Reed and Thornberry:

We write today to request that the Armed Services Committees include in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) the attached language allowing a portion of the West Los Angeles National Guard Armory to be utilized as a year-round homeless shelter.

The West L.A. National Guard Armory was conveyed by the federal government to the State of California in 1957 for military purposes. In addition to its use as a National Guard Armory, the State has allowed it to be used as a temporary shelter for homeless persons, solely during the winter season, for more than 10 years.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles County is facing a homeless crisis that is compounded by a shortage of year-round homeless shelters. There are nearly 53,000 persons experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County on any given night, with over 31,000 who have no other option but to sleep on the streets. While the use of the Armory during the winter months provides refuge from inclement weather, the ability to use the Armory year-round would help the County to better address this crisis.

To that end, we have worked with the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Health and Human Services, the State of California, and Los Angeles County to draft the attached language allowing GSA to modify the Armory’s 1957 deed so that it can be used as a year-round homeless shelter. Importantly, utilizing a portion of the Armory for a shelter would not interfere with its function as a National Guard training site.

We urge you to include the attached language in the FY20 NDAA so that we can continue to address the homeless crisis in Los Angeles County.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Kamala D. Harris
United Senator

Ted Lieu
Member of Congress

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