RESEDA, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission (HotV) today opened the West Valley’s first Cabin Community for local unhoused Angelenos. Located right behind Blumenfield’s District Office, the ‘Sycamore Cabin Community’ boasts 52 tiny homes with 100 beds that will be made available to those experiencing homelessness on nearby streets in his West Valley district.
“Our cabin community will improve the lives of both the homeless and the housed residents in the West Valley, providing a safe and stable environment for the most vulnerable folks in our city,” said Blumenfield. “We need more innovative solutions like cabin communities so that we can help more unhouse people transition into permanent housing, as well as reduce the many humanitarian and health issues that arise from people living on the streets.”
Of the new Tiny Homes location, HotV CEO Craft says, “The streets cannot be the waiting room for permanent housing. At Hope of The Valley, we believe in interim housing and permanent housing. It’s not a question of either or, the fact is we need both. It is cruel and inhumane to leave people on the streets while affordable and supportive housing is being built. Our organization is thankful for the vision of Councilmember Blumenfield and the Mayor to make this site a reality.”
"The Sycamore Cabin Community is more than a set of 101 beds and on-site services -- it's a place for our most vulnerable Angelenos to find safety, security, certainty, and hope in the heart of the San Fernando Valley," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "With Councilmember Blumenfield leading the way and so many partners stepping up to the plate, our City is proud to open the doors of this new home for our unhoused neighbors in Reseda and provide them a warm place to rest their heads and start on the path to healing, housing, and a brighter future."
The Sycamore Cabin Community site features several changes that have reduced the cost of construction when compared to those previously opened in LA. For example, simple anchors replaced concrete pads for the foundations. Light colored paint treatments on both the cabins and surrounding asphalt will help reflect heat and reduce the heat island effect. All existing trees on the site were preserved, creating a green shady environment to resist some of the high West San Fernando Valley heat which typically reaches over 110 degrees in the summer. Each cabin also has its own air conditioner and heater to keep the interior a comfortable temperature year round and there are many shared amenities like laundry, three meals a day, restroom facilities, 24/7 security as well as case management and drug and mental health counseling. And pets will be welcome as well and there is an on-site dog run.
With a construction cost of approximately $3.1 million, the site is anticipated to operate for five years with a goal for each cabin to serve at least two people per year for a six month stay. Although the utility connections and amenities add significantly to the project budget, these necessary elements will both improve the function of the site and reduce maintenance costs. Additionally, making the cabin community a cozy, comfortable environment will help encourage unsheltered individuals to take advantage of this option, likely reducing the cost of both emergency services and the need for sidewalk and street maintenance trash removal around local encampments.
In the next few weeks, Blumenfield and Hope of the Valley will open their second cabin community in the West Valley, located on an underutilized Metro lot in Tarzana. In addition to cabins, Blumenfield has been leading on numerous other homeless intervention projects. Last year, he opened the West Valley’s first Bridge Housing site as well as successfully purchased two local hotels to be converted into permanent supportive housing (PSH) as part of Project Homekey. There are also several other PSH and affordable housing developments that recently broke ground and more that have been green lit and funded. He also spearheaded an extension of the Safe Parking program adjacent to his District Office and recently opened an additional lot for those living in their vehicles in Canoga Park.
Blumenfield concluded, “People should never have to live on the streets, it's inhumane. That’s why we need to remain laser focused on building all types of housing and interventions throughout our city, from PSH to cabins, so we can finally properly address this humanitarian calamity at all levels. This homelessness emergency has touched practically every city across the country and it’s critical that we in Los Angeles embrace solutions and keep moving these sorts of projects forward.”
Beginning Thursday, May 27 – Saturday, May 29, Hope of The Valley staff will be conducting both private + public tours of the new location as part of a larger preview for the press and the larger community. Residents are encouraged to go to https://www.hopeofthevalley.org/tinyhomes/reseda/ to schedule their slot.
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