The Nest on Florence – The David & Susan Hirsch Building

Housing For Promise…a place of hope

Wellnest is advancing safe, innovative solutions to affordable housing for transition age youth (TAY) with the announcement of its first housing development project — The Nest on Florence — 51 newly constructed furnished units in South Los Angeles.

Groundbreaking has taken place on the community-based, supportive development at 410 E. Florence Ave. The five-story, 40,808-square foot building will feature 34 studios of about 420 square feet, 16 one-bedrooms at 428 square feet, and one two-bedroom manager’s apartment

The target residents will be transition age youth between 18 and 25 who are living with mental health issues, along with TAY families (young adults with children), all of whom have been recently homeless or are at risk for homelessness.

“At the Nest on Florence, our young adults and families will have an opportunity to practice life skills in a supportive and safe place that is home — a place of promise and a place of hope,” said Charlene Dimas-Peinado, President & CEO of Wellnest, formerly known as the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic.

The Nest on Florence has been designed to provide a sense of community, with a lobby, community recreation area, offices for property management and support services staff, on-site laundry facilities, secure bike parking, and an outdoor common area.

“We are committed to supporting and developing our young people so they can build on their resiliency to live independently and successfully, because we believe in them and their many capabilities,” Dimas-Peinado added.

An estimated 1.4 million youth between 16 and 24 reside in Los Angeles County. Of these, 20% report needing help for mental or behavioral health issues. According to the 2020 Homeless Count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority 4,673 transition-aged youth experienced homelessness, up from 3,926 last year, within the LA Continuum of Care.

“We applaud Wellnest for taking this bold step to address homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing in Los Angeles,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents Los Angeles County’s Second District, where The Nest on Florence will be located. “We are excited to see this development come to fruition and become a wonderful asset to the community.”

Each unit will include a full bathroom and kitchen, along with such furnishings as a bed, dresser, dining table and chair and other basic essentials. Equally important for vulnerable youth who may lack social or family supports, voluntary and tenant-driven services from on-site staff will focus on ensuring that tenants can obtain and thrive in stable housing, regardless of barriers they may face.

“Once completed, the Nest on Florence will serve as a beacon of light in our community,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price, who represents District 9 where the affordable housing development will be built. “These units will provide a lifeline to vulnerable Angelenos and will grant them the stability they desperately need to build a better future. Its impact will be felt for generations and contribute to a stronger, more vibrant South Los Angeles.”

Contractor for the Nest on Florence is Unique Construction. The project is expected to be completed in approximately 18 months.

The new development is not the behavioral health leader’s first foray into housing services. In 2017, Wellnest launched Hope for Housing LA to advance a housing program in which young people learn to live independently with a roommate and receive targeted support to prepare them for permanent housing.

“We know that local leaders turned to voters to create an unprecedented funding to develop and implement solutions to homelessness – Measures H and HHH. The Nest on Florence is just the next step what we envision as a series of innovative solutions to building more vibrant, socially integrated communities for all,” said Dimas-Peinado.

Together, we can lift the voices of our young men and women because they matter…thank you for joining in this journey … to house our young people and to house Hope!