Officials in Redondo Beach, California, are turning to tiny homes to help solve the city’s homelessness problem.
The city’s homeless population is estimated to be less than 200, a small number compared to other cities in Southern California. However, officials are experimenting with ways to meet the growing need, ABC 7 reported Friday.
“We have had an increasing homeless problem and we needed a solution,” Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand told the outlet. “And we really didn’t want to just wait and see what happens, we wanted to take a proactive approach.”
The tiny shelters were initially created for disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina. They can be broken down and stored flat and are quickly assembled.
“But using them for homeless shelters was an idea from the employees of the Seattle-based company Pallet – many who had been homeless themselves,” the ABC article said.
The company’s website says its mission is to “build equal opportunity access to housing and employment.”
“For the more than half a million people facing homelessness across the United States, our durable, portable, and affordable shelters are a stepping stone out of personal crisis and into a life of stability — because a shelter changes everything,” the site read.
Each of the structures cost $4,900, KEYT reported last week, adding that the funding came from the CARES Act emergency budget during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Each 8 foot by 8 foot tiny house can have one or two people inside using drop down beds, a power outlet and a heater. Outside each person will have a locked personal storage area,” the outlet said.
In a Facebook post last week, supervisor for the 4th District of Los Angeles County, Janice Hahn, shared photos of the pallet houses:
This morning I joined Mayor Bill Brand in Redondo Beach, where new pallet shelters have been installed in record time….
The shelters are for those who need temporary help and serve as a step toward permanent housing.
“It will be full wraparound services here,” Brand explained. “It won’t just be a place to stay. They’ll have counseling. They’ll have a counselor specifically assigned to them.”
The site will be reevaluated in six months, and if it needs to relocate, the pallet homes are easily moved.