See how this tiny home village is helping to fight homelessness

World Today

Los Angeles has unveiled the largest tiny home village for the homeless in the United States. Created and managed by a local non-profit organization — Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission — the community of prefabricated homes offers a transition for people living on the streets to move into permanent housing. In a city with acute homelessness, the project is seen by many as a promising solution.

CGTN’s Ediz Tiyansan reports from Los Angeles.

Until recently, people living in these cubicles have not had a roof over their heads.

The Arroyo Seco Tiny Homes Village in Highland Park, California, aims to get people off the streets — where violence is a daily threat.

Here they find a sense of safety, as security guards at the door make sure weapons or illicit drugs are not allowed in.

The community has access to hot showers, hot meals, and most importantly, case workers, who will help them work through their troubles.

“I’m finally able to get my ID, so now we’re going to get my social security, they provided mailing address to get those documents, like birth certificates and stuff like that. And now I can go for employment, I say, ‘Hey, look I got this.’ I’m a citizen and I can work. That’s my goal, just get employment, and be able to just pay rent, and live, like normal. And this is a good stepping stone,” said Daniel, a resident of the village.

The community is run by Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization, whose president says the program already helped many people get into permanent housing.

“We launched the first one in February and it took only 90 days after opening that site for the first person to be housed out of that but at the same time we still have people at that site who are part of the very first people to move in with battling to overcome trauma addiction and mental illness and that’s OK with us as long as they’re making positive steps forward,” said Rowan Vansleve, president of the Mission.

As small as they are, these tiny homes painted with symbols of love and peace, provide much-needed privacy and peace of mind.

Launched in November 2021, Arroyo Seco Tiny Homes Village is a $5.1 million project with 117 of these tiny homes that are just big enough for two beds. And with a total of 224 beds, this is the largest tiny homes village in the United States.

These homes take under two hours to assemble and only cost $10,000 each.

Although it seems like an easy, affordable solution to homelessness, projects like these are not easy to launch.

“Each and every time we open the shelter, we get death threats, we get protested. so often they want to blame the homeless for the situation they find themselves in. We need to see people as people and treat them with dignity and respect and give them the chance to build their life,” Vansleve said.

A total of six tiny homes villages have 1,400 beds in the Los Angeles area, but the homeless population has surpassed 63,000.