As donors to the Hope of the Valley -Tiny Homes, the Westlake Women’s Club was invited to a VIP Tour of the new Alex Trebek Center in Northridge. During the Pandemic the Skateland Roller rink went out of business and was acquired with major funding from Mayor Garcetti’s “A Bridge Home” Program and from the Alex and Jean Trebek Family Foundation. It has now been transformed into a modern gateway housing facility with a capacity of 107 beds with the motto “From Skateland to Hopeland”. The Trebek Center provides the ability for homeless people to reestablish their lives in society.
It is anticipated that a person will spend between three months in this facility before being found more permanent housing. While staying there a person will be provided with a bed, three meals a day, access to interview rooms, a library with computers, counseling, and psychiatric services.
From the outside the white building doesn’t look as big as it is and is part of the old industrial area of Northridge. The public entrance has a lot of pictures on the wall of Alex Trebek, showing his accomplishments and numerous awards throughout the years.
A piece of the old rink floor is proudly mounted to a wall for memories of the past. Attached to this, there are several plaques with the names of $500+ donors with plenty space for more.
In another room a Jeopardy wall has been built with each tile having the capacity to name two donors. Each row on the board represents donations from $10.000 to $500.000.
The facility only has a serving kitchen and food will be brought from a neighboring building that has also been acquired. This building will not only cook the food but will also be used to train some of the residents. It will also have the capacity to provide meals to other facilities.
Great lengths have been taken to ensure the facility does not resemble an “Institution” that some of the residents may have encountered. The ceiling is very high with an open ceiling revealing the structural supports, all of which are painted. All the lights are hung at angles so that they give a more informal feeling. The walls are painted with light color trimmed with a beautiful turquoise, yellow and more. In the floor plan the room are next to each other with no door, inside is a bed with comforter and a toiletry bag on the pillow ready to be used. The bathrooms are shared, very modern and all equipped with showers.
Currently the back of the building is a car park, however a landscaper will be coming shortly to convert it into a pleasant garden for relaxation. In addition, there will be a dog run as pets are allowed with the residents.
The Trebek center will focus on the local homeless community, outreach has already begun and the operation of lifting the homeless will began Tuesday and soon will be in full swing. The Westlake Women’s Club look forward to continuing their support of the Hope of the Valley Mission.