One of the biggest barriers to escaping homelessness is lack of a safe place to rest your head at night. When you provide someone with a safe, warm bed at night, a place to shower, regular meals, and a sense of community, it’s amazing what they can overcome. That is the goal of this brand-new tiny home village in Los Angeles. They aim to provide the unhoused with the basic necessities and security they need to get back on their feet again. (1)
New Tiny Home Village in Los Angeles Just Opened
On February 1st, Hope of The Valley Rescue Mission and the City of Los Angeles opened the first wave of a series of tiny home villages for the homeless. Within one week, it was fully booked up. This first village is a group of 40 brightly colored tiny homes on a half-acre plot next to Chandler Boulevard in North Hollywood. The village can house up to 75 people. (1)
Each one of the 64-square-foot units contains two beds, heat and air conditioning, and a desk.
Hope of The Valley isn’t stopping there: They are developing at least three other tiny home villages in the San Fernando Valley. The next in development is a large one at Alexandria Park. This village will have 103 homes with the capacity for housing 200 people. (1)
More Than Just A Home
Hope of The Valley is providing its village residents with more than just a roof and a bed. Their goal is to help them overcome obstacles and build a better life for themselves. (2)
Beyond housing, each tiny home village provides (2,3):
- Three meals a day
- Housing services
- Job training and placement services
- Case management
- Shared bathrooms and showers
- Mental health services
- A place of community and fellowship
Residents have a curfew and no drugs or alcohol are permitted on site.
Cost and Time
Each prefab home costs $7500, including labor costs. (1) The idea is for these villages to be cost-effective and affordable. In total, the project cost $3.5 million, but this includes site preparation costs. For example, they had to outfit the site with concrete foundations and sewage, water, electricity, and more. (3)
“The biggest cost contributors were the new 550-foot-long sewer line extension, protective barriers for pedestrians, leveling the street for ADA due to lack of sidewalks, and adding a fire lane throughout the entire site,” explains Nerin Kadribegovic, partner at Lehrer Architects. “But this upfront investment means that the site is now developed in perpetuity and will continue to serve the city after it has completed serving the houseless residents” (3)
They weighed every detail out to be cost-neutral but also make the village a pleasant place to be. Even “unnecessary” things like the home’s bright colors have a purpose and are cost-neutral.
“Every move is conceived to add significant value and be cost-neutral,” says architect Michael B. Lehrer, founding partner of Lehrer Architects. “In that vein, color is used extensively to create a sense of community and places of respect, dignity, and joy. Projects for people at all levels of the social ladder, but particularly those near the bottom, remind us again and again that beauty is a rudiment of human dignity.” (3)
A Sense of Community
Community is something people who have never experienced homelessness often take for granted. These tiny home villages in Los Angeles provide a feeling of acceptance and being a part of something. (2)
A stable community of supportive people along with basic life necessities to feel human allows people the time and space to overcome things holding them down. (2)
Hope in the Valley CEO Ken Craft says that the village community is one where:
“people will live together, but they all have something in common: They’re trying to exit homelessness…They’re trying to overcome the obstacles and barriers that are keeping them unhoused,” (2)
He says that most people will live in the village for four to six months while they get on their feet and can find permanent housing in this setting. This is the space they need to do so.
Thanks to Hope in the Valley and their partners, the unhoused of Los Angeles have an opportunity and a healthy, happy, and productive life.
- “First of several Tiny Homes villages brings in unhoused in San Fernando Valley.” Daily News. Elizabeth Chou
- “Tiny House Village Opens in Los Angeles to Help Shelter Homeless Residents — See the Photos.” People. Jen Juneau . February 17, 2021.
- “L.A. Is Taking On Homelessness With a New, Brightly Colored Tiny Home Village.” Dwell. Lucy Wang. February 16, 2021.