Tiki Aparments Grand Opening

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Photo by Martin Zamora/Board of Supervisors

The squalid motel in the blockbuster movie The Terminator has been transformed into an $11.6-million permanent supportive housing community for homeless adults with special needs, complete with wraparound services and various amenities.

Tiki Apartments in Florence-Firestone now has 35 affordable rental units for homeless adults heavily dependent on medical care. “I am very grateful, said one of the new tenants, who gave his name as Al. “Being here gives me hope that things will get better. My health is my struggle and I am paralyzed. This gives me hope that I can live a long life.”

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Photo by Martin Zamora/Board of Supervisors

Facilitated by Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County invested $500,000 of its Homeless Prevention Initiative funds for the project. “I can think of no better use for this property than housing for the homeless,” he said during the grand opening celebration. “There is no more urgent an issue that tugs on our collective conscience than the homeless crisis.”

Tenants at Tiki Apartments will receive supportive services intended to help them attain greater stability, independence and economic security. This includes case management, mental health care, primary and preventive health care, substance abuse treatment, and financial and life skills training provided by the County Department of Heath Services and its nonprofit partner, Western Community Housing.

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Welcoming a Tiki Apartments tenant to his new home. Photo by Martin Zamora/Board of Supervisors

“It’s a model that works, and one that must be duplicated,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “While we have much to celebrate today, we need more resources to ensure more of these projects come to fruition.”

Meta Housing Corp. is the co-owner and co-developer of the property, to be managed by John Stewart Co. Amenities include as a courtyard, outdoor fitness area, on-site laundry and gardening plots, all intended to promote wellness, self-sufficiency and community.

“At Meta Housing, our goal is always to provide high quality housing options that also fill a deep need in the local community, and the Tiki Apartments do just that,” Meta Housing president Kasey Burke said. “A blighted, vacant motel has been transformed into 36 permanent supportive units that will continue to serve the growing homeless population throughout LA.”

Meta Housing Senior Project Manager Brian “Ross” Ferrera added, “In addition to providing a safe and stable place for these homeless individuals to live, the Tiki Apartments also incorporate strong supportive services.

“These services promote wellness and self-sufficiency in order to provide residents with the tools to not only get off the streets, but to stay off the streets,” he added. “In all of our apartment communities, we want our residents to ultimately thrive and the recently completed Tiki Apartments is certainly no exception.”