One block north of MacArthur Park in Westlake, a nondescript 1980s motel has been reborn as interim housing through Project Homekey.
The Alvarado, located at 355 S. Alvarado Street, began as a three-story, 44-room hotel known as the Lyfe Inn. Following a conversion led by L.A. County and its non-profit partner Hope the Mission, the three-story structure now features 172 beds of temporary housing. is a three-story, 43-unit, 172-bed interim housing facility that used to be the Lyfe Inn.
Hope the Mission also provides programming and supportive services for residents, including meals, job training and placement, and life skill classes. The non-profit operates 17 such facilities across L.A. County.
Kadre Architects designed The Alavardo, which transformed the former motel's olive-green exterior with a new blue-and-white paint job that spells the word "HOPE," using large graphics.
"Graphics occupy every suitable surface of the building’s interior, creating a feeling for residents of moving through a colorful composition," reads a narrative released by the design firm. "The team used the palette to enliven spaces and bring about a sense of ownership, with each floor having its own graphic identity throughout each of the rooms, floors, walls and furnishings – like one’s own neighborhood. The front landscaping is drought tolerant so requires little water; the available open space has been transformed into a dining deck where, through dappled light from borrowed landscape of neighbor’s trees, tenants will be able to enjoy meals outside. Each individual unit averages 280 [square feet] and the project offers interim housing, case management, three daily meals and other support services provided on-site to further help residents adapt to having home-shelter and move towards permanent housing."
The Alvarado was part of a round of nine different sites which L.A. County moved to purchase through Project Homekey in early 2022. The County has acquired more than 1,500 homes through the program, and is set to buy more through a new round of funding set for release this year.
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