Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community title=
Temporary Homes for Isla Vista Homeless Community (Photo: edhat reader)
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By edhat staff

Isla Vista has set up twenty temporary pallet homes for the homeless community in the small college town.

The 8x8 foot structures are currently in the parking lot of the Isla Vista Community Center in the 900 block of Embarcadero del Mar next to People's Park. 

The homes will be operated by The Good Samaritan Shelter who currently runs homeless programs in Santa Maria. Program managers will be able to offer permanent housing assistance as well as counseling and other government programs.

The temporary homes were made by Pallet, a company that builds low-cost, safe, and secure aluminum shelters for transitional housing for the homeless community and those recovering from natural disasters. 

The 64 square foot shelters are able to be set up within one hour, include beds, climate control, locking doors and windows, ventilation, and electricity accessibility. The shelters are specifically designed without kitchens and bathrooms and are intended to be used in a community setting where these facilities exist on site, similar to a summer camp or college dormitory, the website states.

Pallet has contracted with several cities throughout the west coast including Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara.

The project costs approximately $900,000 and is being funded through federal CARES Act COVID-19 relief through May 2021.

Photo: John Palminteri / KEYT News

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PitMix Dec 14, 2020 03:54 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Times said that these pallet homes are appealing to homeless that avoid shelters like the plague. Especially people that have a hard time being crowded in with large numbers of people. So can serve a wider slice of the people that need help.

dukemunson Dec 14, 2020 11:28 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

It was an interesting article! The more apt comparison though would seemingly be Riverside, which did it the same way as IV...but the total project cost just 500k for 30 of them (17k each).

a-1607968004 Dec 14, 2020 09:46 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

These little structures can be easily taken apart and stored compactly. They have operable, locking windows with screens, and locking doors. They can be ordered with electrical outlets (requiring a hookup, of course), heaters (and even air conditioners). They meet some high standard for hurricane safety. Et cetera. I think it’s a good product. Whether they are the right thing for this situation is another discussion. They seem ideal for refugee camps.

photodude Dec 13, 2020 05:34 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

This current scenario reminds me of the movie "Field of Dreams", whose premise was "If you build it, they will come."

Look at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/The-State-of-Homelessness-in-America.pdf to see how many homeless per 10,000 population there are state-by -state.

Why is it that California and New York are the front runners, while Utah or Texas don't have this problem.

If I choose to be homeless, and California (and their churches) offer free housing and food, why would I not go there?

It used to be that you couldn't camp in other than a designated camping area. No more!!! Anisq-oyo park in downtown Isla Vista is a cesspool of vagrant campers. Now we are going to amplify this problem with free housing?

Many people choose to be homeless, and they migrate to the best areas, like California.

Change the laws!

NostraChumash Dec 13, 2020 01:34 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

I'm happy for those who get chosen, as I live in my van ( after cancer, blk mold, now c19)..
I have but one caveat though; electricity!.
Yep, a simple thing like unlimited electricity can go a long way, draw a crowd..or heck forbid, make alcohol.

LincolnLady Dec 13, 2020 01:16 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

It's a given that I agree with those who want to help. Superfreak, Duke, Townie, Shame...you also make a good point. I'm assuming that Good Samaritan Shelter is helping only the chronically mentally ill or people really down on their luck. I've seen homeless people like that in Santa Barbara way back to the 1970's. I forgot the homeless people I saw a few days ago, camping out at Pershing Park, using expensive-looking gear and lots of it. In their case they should follow what A-1607889666 recommends: go live somewhere else. (Sorry, don't agree with the drug use.)

If you're of the opinion that I don't get it, yes I do. I was homeless years ago. Am I homeless now? Hell no. Like any normal person I got help from friends for as short a period as needed, took night courses, changed my career, and ending up working at some of the biggest, best paying companies in the world. When I offered to pay my friends back, they wouldn't take it. For me, believing in the Really Big Guy also helped - always had Someone to talk to and ask for help. Opportunities would appear out of nowhere, opportunities I was smart enough to recognize and take advantage of. :-)

Some of these healthy homeless people must be going through a teenage rebellion phase. Why else would they want to be homeless? Would the government help them grow up? I doubt it. :-(

lilbird Dec 13, 2020 12:37 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

This is progress! Beats homeless people living in dry brush & starting warming fires on cold nights that threaten everybody! Please expand this program and get homeless out of the cold and out of dry brush! Looks like a win-win to me! : )

dukemunson Dec 13, 2020 01:16 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Your definition of “win-win” is a bit scary. I mean what’s your end game here? Upsize the project to 1000 people/tiny houses (so 9 million per month) and be covered... because that would solve the problem and no new homeless would come and we’d be covered/safe?

Take a gander by the IV tent city... you’ll be astounded with how many seemingly able bodied 25 to 50 year old man are just hanging out.

This isn’t a solution... it’s a money pit that is going to make the problem worse.

a-1607889666 Dec 13, 2020 12:01 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Why should the homeless choose where they receive their charity? Shouldn't the taxpayers make that decision?
How about placing these tiny homes out in the desert? Add in the porta potties and promise no law enforcement so that they can do whatever drug pleases them.

Shame Dec 13, 2020 09:23 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Just drove through Portland or. They allow homeless to take over. It was tent city. All along the freeways and from what we say they were able bodied stoned kids that the taxpayers are paying for. Enough is enough and no this is not a political statement. My friend owns a business up there. They use his land as a bathroom. Break into his business and steal things and this is ok?

biguglystick Dec 13, 2020 03:13 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

RUBAIYAT, They come anyway, they come for the weather. Building these tiny homes (and only 20 of them at that) will NOT bring in more homeless people, but it might just help a few get back on their feet.

Moving_Forward Dec 13, 2020 09:07 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Aside from politics; aside from money; aside from religious beliefs, we know many of these people suffer from mental illness and/or drug/alcohol abuse. Many have no contact with family, if any. As you sit in your warm home, giving thanks for all that you have, it is the time of the year to think of others less fortunate that you. We don't know their stories and how they got where they are, but they are human beings, and it would be kind of you to think of their situation in a more compassionate way than criticizing them or the tiny shelter they are being offered. Can you change your thinking to "How can I help" instead of pointing a finger?? Food for thought.

a-1607876871 Dec 13, 2020 08:27 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

900,000 ÷ 20 = 45,000
The project cost is approximately $900k, according to the article. Project - not just buildings.
It's like playing "telephone" reading these comments.

LincolnLady Dec 13, 2020 01:10 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

The $900K is for the 20 shelters (as JB86 noted), plus multiple other expenses: care personnel labor costs (can cost big bucks), medical supplies, food and water, cooking supplies, shower facilities and bathrooms, clothing and toiletries, security, electricity, lighting (the portable outside lights cost hundreds), supplies for cleaning up after everyone, and trash pickup. Oops, did I forget communication expenses? Some of the $900K might be extra funds for unforeseen contingencies. And what about insurance? Crunched the numbers provided in the edhat article and come up with $9K per person per month. Not an unusual cost-per-month for a person with needs. If this seems high, go to https://www.seniorliving.org/nursing-homes/costs/ and see what a nursing home can cost per person per month in 2020. See how valuable we are? GeneralTree, I've done the same thing and would need a tiny home for me, a tiny home for my books, a tiny home for my clothes, a tiny home for my.... ChemicalSuperFreak, SuperFreak (I'll stop)...I agree that we are worth more than politics (hard as that may seem during this election year). A-1607827849, what does WWBMD stand for?...never mind, just figured it out. Could care less what he'd do. Regarding chocolate and vanilla, chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream works for me every time. :-)

ChemicalSuperFreak Dec 13, 2020 11:47 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

LADY: The frustration being voiced stems from the fact that many people work hard, sometimes more than one job, to support themselves and their families. These hard working people often sacrifice luxuries and forgo vices so they can provide, often scraping by on less than $3,000/month and no one is helping them despite all their hard work. Then you have this other group of people, many of them young, able-bodied and completely uninterested in being responsible members of society. I’m not talking about mentally ill, as they should be cared for in hospitals. Are severely addicted people suffering from mental illness and should they be hospitalized? I’m not sure. Nevertheless, there are more-or-less healthy individuals who choose to live outside of societal norms and that’s the majority of the vagrants I see. They are lawless, often fighting with each other and stealing, though they know it to be wrong. They simply do not care. Now they’re going to receive upwards of $9,000/month because they choose not to behave??? Yes, the little prefab boxes don’t cost that much, and much of the money goes to supporting this project. Effectively the additional costs go to pay for cooks, clean up services, assistants, etc. I’ll bet families that work hard, obey the law, and scrape by on $3,000/month would love a personal chef, maid and concierge.

SBTownie Dec 13, 2020 08:15 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

I agree with Duke. The math on this is crazy. The cost of the Pallet shelter themselves (while lower than some competitors) is questionable to begin with. Look at similar sheds on Home Depot - you can get them for half the price, or less. But a $9,000 per person / per month rent or cost for this is crazy. We could rent them all luxurious AirBnBs for that price. We are evaporating taxpayer money. If it costs $9,000 a month to house an unsheltered person in a shed, what kinds of costs are we being primed to tolerate for putting these people in actual housing? Los Angeles has made it clear they cannot build a unit of housing for a homeless person in need for less than I think the figure was somewhere around $550,000. Google it if you don't believe me. I think it's time to look into larger, more long-term prefabricated structures for the unsheltered and to place them on land that is neither coastal high-cost, nor in demand. We have a huge state and most of our population is in very small corridors. I guarantee you 75%+ of the unsheltered people who need homes are not from this area. And what they really need is addiction and mental illness treatment. But that is darn near impossible given the Lanterman Petris Short Act. And moving these people around given the 9th circuit ruling that we must offer them alternate suitable accommodation or else you can't kick them off public property makes it additionally impossible to do anything about this growing problem.

dukemunson Dec 13, 2020 07:24 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Umm... no... 9k per month to house someone in a $4900 tiny house is crazy! They are using IV rec Dep land. We are already paying Marburg for quite a few porta potties in the tent village next door. Communication expenses??? What kind of communications are they setting Up? They already have free internet set up there?

No, this is classic government waste. I guess it justifies (and perhaps even creates!) a couple more 120k county/IV special district jobs. We aren’t solving any problems here... we’re making an existing problem bigger ...

Andrea Smith Dec 12, 2020 11:54 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Went for a ride downtown tonight and saw a few tents, first time I've seen them downtown. What's happening in Santa Monica/LA is now starting to happen here. Expect to see more tent cities in town in the coming weeks/months.

JB86 Dec 12, 2020 10:20 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Check my math here; 20 units for $900,000. is that not $45,000 per unit? Given the stated $4,900 cost per unit, it would seem that over $800,000 is going somewhere else. What am I missing here? $800,000 for porta-potties seems a bit much. Something is amiss here.

a-1607934282 Dec 14, 2020 12:24 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

You could put twice the amount of people up for a year in a hotel at that cost. A place with electricity and restrooms. This tiny shed is a crock of outhouse waste...

ChemicalSuperFreak Dec 12, 2020 10:41 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Nope, your math is spot on. To put it in perspective, that's $45,000/person for 6 months. How would you like to get $90,000/year to live on, just for doing absolutely nothing? Not too bad.

Ahchooo Dec 12, 2020 07:54 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

I like that a solution is being sought to help people. These clean, well-designed huts are a good idea. Not sure if they lead to any long term solutions, but they are at least something.

GeneralTree Dec 12, 2020 07:45 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

So aside from this article - I've looked at a lot of tiny homes online. I've come to the conclusion that I would never fit in one. I was looking at cheap property near lakes and tiny homes to make a vacation cabin of sorts. I think I'd need 3 -5 tiny homes connected together.

Basicinfo805 Dec 13, 2020 07:05 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

BIGUGLY, I didn't come here. I was born here. And so we're my parents. I think I am a native, apart from not being Chumash. I'm aware of the draw to come here, the weather and benefits of the homeless lifestyle for all it entails, and that's exactly my point. There has to be a limit to free handouts that have zero incentive to improve oneself and get a job, rent a house, etc. The give-away programs are an absolute black hole.

Thanks Ugly

GeneralTree Dec 12, 2020 06:56 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

It's sad how people from the far right always make such disparaging comments about the homeless - much like Hitler they would just rather have them disappear than actually come up with some sort of solution. Don't expect the party of Trump to care about the homeless, elderly, the sick or anyone in need - they are burdens on other people's pockets. Rather than volunteer or get involved, they make depraved comments behind the anonynimity of the Internet. Shame on you.

biguglystick Dec 13, 2020 03:17 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

GENERALTREE, I agree wholeheartedly... and at Christmas time too, a bunch of Ebinezer Scrooges. SHAME. Some of us are only a paycheck away from homelessness... it's scary.

a-1607891398 Dec 13, 2020 12:29 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

"Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association. Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but some of them diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing economic and political systems." - Wikipedia. Is this not correct?

RHS Dec 13, 2020 10:22 AM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Big Mack: So you recommend, it seems, that we stop feeding the starving (in Africa only?) as a humanitarian gesture!!?? Next thing you will be suggesting that they eat their babies to avoid starvation. Sick stuff.

Big mack Dec 12, 2020 08:51 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Because if you keep giving, giving, giving the problem of homelessness does the opposite of what it is intended to do . Homelessness will icrease so now instead of 5 tent houses soon you'll be needing ten, then 20 and before you know it you'll be building 100 . It's like feeding the starving in Africa ....you start by feeding a hundred then it's a thousand so you don't solve homelessness, you increase it .

dukemunson Dec 12, 2020 08:07 PM
Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

Well.. does showing up to work every day and paying my taxes count as getting involved? Because the government sure needs all the money they can get with how desperately and quickly they burn through it!


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