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 in Echo Park.
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.”
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.
“There is a humanitarian crisis happening on our streets today. The time for action is now,” said Urban Alchemy founder and CEO Lena Mill. “The leadership and vision of Councilmember O'Farrell have been instrumental in making a difference. 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.”
The cost of the Echo Park village was not immediately available, but a similar tiny home site in North Hollywood's Alexandria Park cost $43,000 per bed, or $8.6 million total, according to Councilman Paul Krekorian's office. The 64-square-foot units have two beds each. The North Hollywood location is operated by Hope of the Valley, which provides three meals per day, on-site showers, bathrooms, laundry and counseling and navigation services.