Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing, VA Campus
Architect: LEO A DALY
Location: Los Angeles, California
Vacant for decades, it was renovated to serve as a prototype for therapeutic residences.
Building 209 is one of many historic buildings on the US Veterans Affairs Department’s (VA) West Los Angeles healthcare campus. Vacant for decades, it was falling into decay rather than serving its original purpose of healing our nation’s veterans. Meanwhile, homelessness in Los Angeles County has become an epidemic, with 4,343 veterans living on the streets.
"Spaces, landscaping, and rooms afford a believable sense of importance of and gratitude towards the residents." - Jury comment
As part of the VA’s vanguard effort to rehabilitate the West Los Angeles campus, the design team was challenged to renovate Building 209 to serve as a prototype for therapeutic residences. It is the first permanent supportive housing project on the campus, and uses an emergent service model that has proven successful in creating lasting change while taking stress off the social-service system.
Through evidence-based design and close collaboration with formerly homeless veterans, Building 209 has been fully restored and transformed into therapeutic housing for 65 homeless men and women. The three-level structure supports an entirely new functional program of specialized accommodations. Fifty-five apartments (45 single, 10 double) provide residents with stable housing and all of the services needed to facilitate their recovery.
"Respectful of the original building, and respectful of the occupants on the inside." - Jury comment
After decades of neglect, Building 209 now provides long-term therapeutic housing for individuals whose previous recovery attempts have failed, helping build the skills they need to participate in society, care for themselves, and reach their life goals.