25 prefabricated cabins will be ready to open in four months
Officials announced Friday that a village of 25 tiny homes will be developed in the City of Baldwin Park and will be operational by November 2021, the first shelter of its kind in the San Gabriel Valley. The project will target individuals experiencing homelessness in the community, with more than 500 unsheltered individuals counted in the most recent survey of the city.
“Tiny home shelters will provide Baldwin Park’s homeless population that has been growing year after year with the safety and privacy of a tiny home that is lacking in more traditional congregate shelters, while helping them transition to permanent housing. Baldwin Park is proud to spearhead this unique effort to combat homelessness in the San Gabriel Valley. Thanks to this innovative housing model we can provide safety, wrap-around resources, and privacy to meet the needs of residents; while also avoiding the separation of individuals from their pets and couples from each other, all of which are important factors in maintaining the emotional stability of companionship for people experiencing homelessness,” said Baldwin Park Mayor Emmanuel J. Estrada. The Baldwin Park City Council last month approved the tiny home shelter as a one-year pilot program and at a study session Thursday finalized design of the village.
The tiny homes village will consist of prefabricated cabins with locking doors and air conditioning placed on a city-owned site located at 14173 Garvey Ave. The housing is intended to provide temporary bridge housing for about 90 days before residents are placed in permanent housing, allowing up to 100 people a year to be served. Residents will be provided individual on-site services such as case management and health and mental health services as well as three meals a day, restroom, laundry and shower trailers and a dog run. An on-site security office will be staffed 24 hours a day.
“We could not have a better partner than the City of Baldwin Park in debuting the first tiny home shelter in the San Gabriel Valley. Together with city staff, we will reach out to the community at large to establish opportunities for volunteers to support shelter residents by creating welcome kits and through other activities,” said Claremont Mayor Pro Tem Jed Leano, chair of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust. The Trust, together with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, is providing approximately $450,000 in grant funding for site preparation and the acquisition of the prefabricated homes and communal facilities and another $750,000 for the first year of operation, with options to fund additional years of operation.
“We’ve heard from residents of other sites how life changing it is to have a door with a lock. Residents will be connected to supportive services to meet their needs, and this will be the first step toward ending their experience with homelessness,” said Monrovia Councilmember Becky Shevlin, president of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, which sponsored state legislation establishing the housing trust.