Echo Park - A "tiny home village" that can serve as interim housing for up to 74 people experiencing homelessness is now open in a former parking lot along Alvarado Street.
Councilman Mitch O'Farrell said the site, located at the corner of Alvarado Street and Scott Avenue, has 38 new cabins, showers, restrooms, a laundry area and a dog run. Residents will be provided with medical care, case management services and three meals a day.
Thirty-two people had moved into the village as of Friday, according to O'Farrell, who said his office worked to "turn an underutilized lot into a safe, secure, managed environment for unhoused Angelenos to call home and get connected to services."
Pallet Homes designed by formerly homeless people
The L.A. Bureau of Engineering was responsible for site preparation, installation and construction, and the cabins were provided by Pallet, which employs formerly unhoused people to design and manufacture the cabins.
"The majority of Pallet's employees have personally experienced homelessness themselves," said Amy King, Pallet's founder and CEO. "Their direct experience has shaped our understanding of what is needed in transitional, healing shelter communities."
The nonprofit Urban Alchemy manages and operates the village. It also runs the "Safe Sleep Village" in Rampart Village and was involved in outreach to unhoused Angelenos who were living at Echo Park Lake before the city closed the park in March and reopened it in May.
Each Echo Park Tiny Village home costs about $9,000
"There is a humanitarian crisis happening on our streets today. The time for action is now," said Urban Alchemy founder and CEO Lena Mill. "We are passionate about our mission to help society's most vulnerable and about this opportunity to provide a safe, humane environment off the streets, taking another crucial community step toward permanent housing solutions for all."
Each structure costs about $9,000, including installation, according to Mary Nemick from the city's Bureau of Engineering. The total cost of the project is about $3 million. This is well under the $5,695,000 that was approved for construction.
The annual cost to operate the site in the Fiscal Year 2021-22 has been projected at $1,485,550.