Canoga Park, CA

LA Family Housing – The Willows, Canoga Park Bridge-Housing

2022 LA Business Journal Commercial Real Estate Gold Award for Best Community Impact

The Willows is the first bridge housing facility for couples in the San Fernando Valley. It is a publicly funded, 28,000-s.f., single-story, CMU transitional space with 75 beds of interim housing for individuals and couples experiencing homelessness. Opened in early 2021, the Willows has quickly transitioned homeless Angelenos off the streets and is helping them rebuild their lives. LA Family Housing’s staff provides 24/7 on-site supportive services including mental health care, recovery support, counseling for those who have experienced domestic violence, security and housing placement services to help residents find a permanent home. Oltmans’ scope of work involved the adaptive reuse of an abandoned mental health facility into what you see today—all new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems as well as the build-out of all new bathrooms, laundry facilities, hygiene stations, a recreation room, dining area, outdoor communal space, outdoor pet area and kennels, a conference room, and administrative offices.

Unique to this facility is the program’s ability to accept couples and pets. The building provides pet housing for when participants need to leave for appointments and the site has 3 separate wings including designated areas for women, men, and couples. Some unique energy-efficient considerations include skylights throughout the facility to draw in natural light. Indoor and outdoor spaces are further connected via expansive openings to encourage movement about the space and access to the outdoors.

COVID-19 Challenges

Constructed and opened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oltmans’ project team quickly complied with local, state, federal, OSHA, and CDC mandates. Despite plan check, permitting, and supply and delivery slowdowns, we remained ahead of material delays with the facility opening on time in Spring 2021.

Project Awards
  • 2021 AIALA Residential Architecture Awards – Temporary Housing
  • 2022 LA Business Journal Commercial Real Estate Gold Award for Best Community Impact