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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Skateland Makes Way For Homeless

Roller rink Skateland has permanently closed after six decades in business, with the iconic Northridge building slated to become a bridge-housing facility through the nonprofit Hope of the Valley. “We would like to thank you, our loyal skaters, for your love and support over the past 63 years that Skateland has been in business,” the company said in a statement on social media. “The building that housed Skateland and brought countless lifetime memories to millions of roller skaters over the years, will be converted by Hope of the Valley, a faith-based independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, into a bridge-housing facility to get the homeless in the community back on their feet and into the workforce.” Skateland owners Michael and David Flemming originally approached Hope of the Valley late last year after months of closures caused by the coronavirus. Wanting to continue their family legacy of giving back, they worked with the nonprofit to come up with a way to use their property to help address the current homelessness crisis and a way for them to make a lasting difference in their community. Plans were finalized earlier this month for the property, located at 18140 Parthenia St.L.A. City Councilman John Lee said in a November statement that the nearly 23,000-square-foot building will be renovated to meet new accessibility needs and build additional hygiene facilities, but the exterior of the building will remain largely as is. The shelter is anticipated to open this fall and will be named the Trebek Center after Alex Trebek, the former host of TV game show “Jeopardy!” and a major donor to Hope of the Valley before his death last year. “The site will be used for bridge housing, a shorter term solution that serves as a stopgap measure until individuals are able to find and sustain long-term housing,” Lee’s statement read. “In addition to providing individuals a bed, this model of housing also provides case management and a wide range of supportive services that an individual experiencing homelessness might need in order to help them out of their homelessness.”Staff will be on the premises 24/7 once renovations are complete and the doors open. Priority housing will be given to those living near freeways, those who are 65 and older and those who have previous or underlying health issues. The planned 107-bed facility will provide access to services on and off site, including substance abuse and mental health services, job training, job placement and education. An online auction of fixtures and flooring pieces from the skating rink has begun, with 20 percent of the proceeds going toward Hope of the Valley’s mission to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness.

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a Los Angeles-based reporter covering retail, hospitality and philanthropy for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. In addition to her current beat, she is particularly interested in criminal justice topics, health and science stories and investigative journalism. She received her AA in Humanities from Moorpark College in 2016, her BA in Communication from Cal Lutheran University in 2019 and followed it up with a MA in Specialized Journalism from USC in the summer of 2020. Through her work, Katherine aspires to help strengthen the fragile trust between members of the media and the public.

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