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Pasadena Human Services Commission Considers Creating ‘Bridge Housing Village’ of Tiny Homes

Village of temporary shelters to serve as bridge housing

Published on Monday, January 11, 2021 | 2:11 pm
 

Pasadena’s Human Services Commission will be reviewing a proposal Wednesday for a “Bridge Housing Village” composed of 40 tiny homes in an effort to combat homelessness, starting with seniors.

The proposal, as outlined in a staff report, calls for a two-phase plan to take a long-term approach toward ending homelessness in the city and getting people sheltered amid the ongoing pandemic.

During the first phase, the city would procure 40 temporary shelters, such as the 64-square-foot tiny home shelters manufactured by the Washington-based company Pallet, partner with a service provider, and place them on a city-approved site over the next six months.

After that, “HSC aims to procure land to create a bridge housing village that is safe, well-managed and attractive, which will create a community that provides dignity and health to those it serves,” according to the report.

The goal is to move unsheltered people out of “dangerous conditions on the streets” and into “a safer and more supportive environment,” the report added.

“The village plays a critical role in helping Pasadena move unsheltered people from dangerous conditions on the streets into a safer and more supportive environment,” the report continued. “With strong service provision on-site, the city will be placing the unsheltered on a direct path towards stable housing and employment.”

Even before the social distancing protocols implemented due to the ongoing pandemic, traditional congregate shelters did not work out well for many people experiencing homelessness, the HSC report said.

“Shelters can be difficult places to live, particularly for those who have languished on the streets for years and have higher barriers to engagement,” it said. “Experience and research have shown that having their own space, with locked doors, room to store their belongings, and the ability to keep a pet, goes a long way to reduce resistance to services and helps create a healing atmosphere.”

No specific location for the project was named, although options were plentiful, according to the report. “There is a large inventory of underutilized and surplus properties in the East and West Pasadena area to be considered, including city-owned land, private lots, and churches, that are currently unused or listed for sale,” according to the report. “HSC recommends the city further investigate and explore these properties as possible sites for the temporary shelters and bridge housing community.”

Potential organizations to partner with for the program included Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, Union Station Homeless Services, Friends In Deed, and HopeWorks.

Officials initially estimated the first phase of the project would cost $360,800, allocating $320,000 to purchase 40 64-square-foot shelters at $8,000 each, according to the document.

The remaining $40,800 would be used for mobile showers, a restroom trailer and a laundry room.

“Phase 2 is largely dependent on a number of variables such as cost and size of land, which will determine expenditure for fencing, security cameras, etc,” the report said.

The emphasis would be first on housing those over 50 years old, before expanding to a wider population, officials said.

The HSC will decide whether to approve the initial place and to send a letter to the city’s Economic Development & Technology Committee explaining the HSC’s intentions with respect to the Bridge Housing Village.

Wednesday’s Special Human Services Committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. and can be viewed online at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84568551174. The agenda can be viewed online at cityofpasadena.net/commissions/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2021-01-13-Human-Services-Commission-Special-Meeting-Agenda.pdf?v=1610334658402.

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