On February 1st, Hope of The Valley Rescue Mission and the City of Los Angeles opened a village of 40 tiny homes for the homeless population.  After just one week, it was already filled with 75 occupants. But Hope of the Valley wasn’t done. They created another tiny home village in North Hollywood, one of the largest in the state.
The North Hollywood Tiny Home Village For The Homeless
The Alexandria Park village is larger than the original, with 103 units and 200 beds. The 64-square-foot homes cost about $8,000. Each includes two beds, air conditioning, heating, a small desk, and a door with a lock. The residents of these villages also have access to meals, showers, laundry facilities, housing navigation, mental health aid, case management, and employment training and placement—all courtesy of Hope of the Valley.
“This is a moment of a lot of hope for me,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “And I know it doesn’t feel like that when you drive through the city because people say the city looks dirty, people are camped everywhere. But to me, it is a moment of deep hope because I know the numbers, I know the commitment, and I know the team that is here.” 
According to Ken Craft, CEO and President of Hope of the Valley, the colorful tiny homes in the village can be built in 90 minutes. “It’s an immediate solution to a very real problem in Los Angeles, and so the city of Los Angeles has adopted this as one of the solutions to ending homelessness.”
“This is a life-changing moment to go from living in a tent on a sidewalk to living in your own private, secure, hygienic space like this,” said L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian. The village is intended to help residents get back on their feet by recovering proper paperwork, having a steady address as they apply for jobs and benefits, as well as helping them attain basic services. 
“It’s a spot to stabilize,” says Laurie Craft, Hope of the Valley’s chief program officer. “So that when people move into permanent supportive housing, the result is good.”
The Purpose of the Village
The North Hollywood tiny home village is designed to be as colorful and inviting as possible. They are made from shipping containers, making the homes feel like an industrial shack, not something safe and comfortable. According to Michael Pinto, a principal at NAC Architecture, the setting is supposed to feel like home, not like a punishment. “What options do we have that isn’t jail?” he asks rhetorically. “Can we stop criminalizing homelessness?” They also designed inviting courtyards to encourage the residence to socialize. 
Homelessness is a growing crisis, and it’s unignorable and catastrophic in Los Angeles. In 2020, over 66,000 people lived on the streets, in vehicles, and in shelters in the county. Within the city limits, there’s over 41,000 in that situation, a 14.2% increase from the previous year. However, the city has been trying to put a stopper in this problem. In 2019, LA’s homeless service system got almost 23,000 into homes.  And in 2021, Hope of the Valley plans to help that number increase by getting people off the street and transitioning into permanent housing.
“We have the Fire Department responding about 20 times a month to this site,” said Krekorian. “So, it was a place of desperation that today, we’re changing into a place of hope.”
Craft adds that they plan to open up at least a dozen more tiny home villages funded by the city. “This provides security and hope and a new beginning for people that are currently living in encampments, on the streets, so they can start over again.”
Sponsoring a Home
While some advocates praise the organization, others offer criticism, saying the tiny homes look more like sheds and are too costly to build. (The initial Chandler Boulevard, Tiny Home Village project cost about $4 million to $5 million.)
However, people could “sponsor” a home for $300. “Building a Tiny Home site, especially when infrastructure costs include adding sewer, water, gas, and power is very expensive and the City of Los Angeles is paying these expenses and responsible for building and funding these amazing sites,” the site reads.
Additionally, people could help the homeless population by sponsoring items such as towels, bedsheets, laundry detergent, etc. for the residents through the Amazon wish list.
- “LA just debuted a new $8.6 million prefab tiny home village to help solve the city’s homelessness crisis— see inside”. Business Insider. Brittany Chang. April 27, 2021
- “Another tiny home village is opening to house homeless people in North Hollywood.” KTLA. Nouran Salahieh and Christina Pascucci. April 22, 2021
- “2nd tiny home village opens in NoHo to help homeless individuals.” ABC. Sid Garcia. April 23, 2021
- “Tiny houses and shipping containers may help homeless people in L.A. Are they humane?” Los Angeles Times. Carolina A. Miranda. April 15, 2021
- “Homelessness In Los Angeles County Rises Sharply.” NPR. Anna Scott. June 12, 2020