Tiny Homes Arrive for Isla Vista Homeless Community

By edhat staff

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

The 8×8 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

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

What do you think?


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  1. 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.

  2. First, I’m a libertarian in terms of beliefs—I do not belong to a political party. Second, I already made it abundantly clear that I’m willing to help people who want help, such as a person or family that find themselves homeless through no fault of their own. Third, I hate vanilla…I’m more of a chocolate fan.

  3. 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 .

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 🙁

  7. 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!

  8. 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 …

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. “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?

  15. 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! : )

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