Another tiny home village is set to begin welcoming people experiencing homelessness in North Hollywood next week.
Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission is opening what it says is one of the state’s largest tiny home communities at Alexandria Park Thursday, with residents expected to begin arriving on Monday.
One of the first of such communities, the Chandler Boulevard Tiny Home Village, opened in February with 39 homes and 85 beds. The Alexandria Park village is much larger, with 103 units and 200 beds.
The windowed 64-square-foot dwellings cost around $8,000 each and have two beds, heat, air conditioning, a small desk and a door that can be locked. Residents in the colorful villages get meals, and have access to showers, laundry facilities, case management, housing navigation, mental health help and job training and placement, according to Hope of the Valley.
“This is a moment of a lot of hope for me,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “And I know it doesn’t feel like that when you drive through the city, because people say the city looks dirty, people are in camped everywhere. But to me, it is a moment of deep hope, because I know the numbers, I know the commitment and I know the team that is here.”
The homes can be assembled in 90 minutes, said Hope of the Valley President and CEO Ken Craft.
“It’s an immediate solution to a very real problem in Los Angeles, and so the city of Los Angeles has adopted this as one of the solutions to ending homelessness,” Craft told KTLA as he stood among the tiny homes.
The goal is to get people off the streets and into the villages for a few months before they transition to more permanent housing, one way the city of Los Angeles is taking on the homelessness crisis.
“We have the Fire Department responding about 20 times a month to this site,” said L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian. “So, it was a place of desperation that today, we’re changing into a place of hope.
Craft said there are plans to open at least a dozen more of the communities, which are built and funded by the city of Los Angeles.
“This provides security and hope and a new beginning for people that are currently living in encampments, on the streets, so they can start over again,” Craft said.
There are local advocates who have applauded the effort, while others criticized the homes, saying they look like sheds and cost too much to build.
The total cost of the Chandler Boulevard Tiny Home Village project was somewhere between $4 million and $5 million, according to the Associated Press.
People can choose to “sponsor” a tiny home for $3,000. The amount is not the cost of building and operating the unit, but is meant to supplement what the city is already paying to operate the homes, Hope of the Valley says on its website.
“Building a Tiny Home site, especially when infrastructure costs include adding sewer, water, gas and power is very expensive and the City of Los Angeles is paying these expenses and responsible for building and funding these amazing sites,” the site reads.
Hope of the Valley asked community members to pitch in with laundry detergent, pillows, bedsheets, towels and other items. Those interested in helping can buy the items through the organization’s Amazon wish list.