LAC+USC Restorative Care Village
The LAC + USC Medical Center Restorative Care Village, slated for the southeast corner of Mission Road and Zonal Avenue, will include on-site housing, psychiatric medical support, job training programs, and other supportive services. The first phase of the project, which will rise at 1744 N. Mission Road, calls for the construction of a 96-bed recuperative care center and a 64-bed residential treatment center.
Conceptual renderings depict the campus as featuring multiple free-standing structures, rising up to four stories in height. Buildings are centered on a landscaped courtyard, with passageways interspersed throughout the facility. Completion of the first phase is anticipated in Summer 2021.
The full offerings of the village could also include short-term housing, a psychiatric urgent care center, and a skilled nursing facility. The footprint of the center could eventually extend across Mission Road, according to a concept approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
In 2017, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to move forward with the Restorative Care Village, a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger. The Restorative Care Village at LAC+USC Medical Center will help address the needs of some of the County’s most disenfranchised populations.
“This is an opportunity for the County to create the country’s first mental health and wellbeing campus dedicated to caring for our most vulnerable populations,” said Supervisor Solis. “This is not business as usual. This is community first.”
Poverty, health unemployment, and homelessness are key issues that affect counties across the country. By recognizing that these issues are interrelated, the County will be able to find real solutions to today’s health and wellness problems. The Restorative Care Village will provide Los Angeles County residents with the full continuum of care — recuperative care, supportive housing, a rest and recovery center plus psychiatric services — alongside education, training, employment and recreational and social amenities.
The village will include a four-story Recuperative Care Center with 96 beds to provide immediate placement for people being discharged from an inpatient hospital setting who lack a supportive place to live. Secondly, a 64-bed Residential Treatment Program will encompass four buildings providing a short-term alternative to hospitalization to address mental health needs. A Sobering Center will help individuals with addictions get a new lease on life.
“I have had a front-row seat in the past year to the inception of the Healthy Village and look forward to seeing this project demonstrate that community benefit are at the heart of the buildings and community services that this Village will provide,” said Andrea Marchetti, Executive Director of Jovenes, Inc. “As a member of the Health Innovation Community Partnership, it is exciting to see County departments and community leaders work together to define a project that serves multiple community needs.”
Designing for Dignity
In order to address the needs of a homeless community of over 57,000 individuals, Los Angeles County is working in conjunction with the LAC+USC Medical Center to develop holistic healthcare environment concepts, covering a full range of services for homeless individuals. Recuperative care, a sobriety center, a psychiatric emergency room, psychiatric urgent care, crisis residential housing, permanent supportive housing, a wellness center, and other social services are being discussed as necessary elements of a complete solution.
The concept for the Restorative Care Village takes a comprehensive approach to providing health and wellness services for homeless individuals.
- NAC Architecture
Knowing that design can directly impact health outcomes for patients, the County worked with NAC Architecture to develop a set of strategies by which the design of the facility could address patient needs, and help homeless individuals recover and flourish with the appropriate services.
No wrong door: A building with many doors and many reception areas allows patients to be welcomed no matter where they enter, with staff ready to direct them to the appropriate care team.
Removed from the ‘street’: The concept steps up from the street in levels. At the ground floor, individuals are welcomed and triaged. The rest of the services are located on the floors above; this incentivizes patients to recover by creating both physical and symbolic distance between themselves and the street.
Enabling choice: Research shows that health outcomes are better when patients make choices in their care. The facility is designed with this in mind, breaking up the building mass and offering a diverse array of spaces where patients can select their environment.
A life building: Gardens and landscape are an essential part of healing for the homeless population, and they are abundant throughout the building. Giving individuals the opportunity to begin caring for living things can support their ability to care for themselves.
Stealth outreach: Seeking treatment and staying in treatment is a huge obstacle. If this facility is to be successful, it can’t be intimidating. Creating gentle, gradual entrances with slow transitions from outdoor to indoor make the building approachable, and integrate it with the surrounding community.
The Restorative Care Village was envisioned as a multi-phase project, addressing the county’s most immediate needs first. Once completed, each building would operate in conjunction with one another to allow seamless support of the whole patient.
The village will include two connected hubs, the Acute Care Hub and the Wellness Hub, and will progress in three phases. Phase 1, already underway, includes the construction of the development's bridge housing, split into two parts: Recuperative Care, for those in recovering from living on the streets, and Crisis Residential Care, for those dealing with domestic abuse and other challenges; both are part of the Acute Care Hub.
Phase 2 includes the demolition of three empty laboratory buildings, making way for the new Wellness Hub, which will house a Community Resource and Recreation Center, services to secure employment, Permanent Supportive Housing, a Recovery and Respite Center, and Psychiatric Urgent Care.
Finally, Phase 3 will return to the Acute Care Hub, starting with the demolition of the vacant Women and Children's hospital, followed by the construction of the new Psychiatric Hospital and Psychiatric Emergency Department.
In January 2019, the County released an RFP for design-build proposals, which ultimately resulted in the selection of CannonDesign for Phase 1. CannonDesign plans to construct the development in a mostly modular fashion in collaboration with ModularDesign+.