San Francisco has ended the long years of resistance as it finally decided to shelter homeless residents through a tiny homes strategy, The Chronicle reported, with plans to establish those in the parking spaces between Market and Mission streets.
Since December, the spaces located at 33 Gough St. have been holding a “safe sleeping village”. Some 44 tents are present in these lots and residents have been receiving counseling to move them into permanent residences.
Cabins or tiny homes will soon replace those tents by late fall. The strategy has already been used in San Jose, Oakland, and the Peninsula.
The nonprofits Dignity Moves and Tipping Point Community have come together to establish the cabin – which will cost $1.7 million in total.
The tiny homes will stay for 18 months when the lease signed by the city for utilizing the space expires.
The installation of the shelters is only a trial with the city’s planning for new techniques to address the soaring number of homeless persons during the health crisis.
“So many homeless people don’t want to go into congregate shelters, and the tents have been a good outdoor alternative, but these cabins are a next big step,” DignityMoves founder and head Elizabeth Funk, said. “When you have your own room and a door that locks, it makes a big difference.
“I believe when you give someone that kind of dignity you can get with your own room and a locking door, you’re keying them up for more success,” she added.
Many of the people currently living in 33 Gough Street tents cannot wait to finally have solid walls instead of fabric ones. Officials said that each of them will be provided an area in the cabin community.
“To come home to something that actually feels like a home would be so great,” 36-year-old Benjamin Longmore said. Currently studying to become a poverty issues counselor, Longmore has been staying at the safe sleeping village since it welcomed locals. “A door you can lock, some heat so you’re not cold at night — I would love that.”
“I’m trying to really move on to the next step in my life, and I need all the help I can get.”