We Can Do It Now! Tiny Home Demonstration part of San Diego Homeless Awareness Activities

by on August 17, 2016 · 0 comments

in Culture, Economy, Homelessness, Life Events, Organizing, San Diego

Group of volunteers assembling a demonstration "tiny house"

Model Tiny Home Assembly and Viewing
Wednesday August 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM
North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave.

By Amikas

On August 17, in coordination with San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, a model “Tiny Home” will be assembled on site at the North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave. and will be available for photographs and viewing throughout the afternoon.

At 12:30 PM, Jeeni Criscenzo from the non-profit group Amikas will join with a representative from the Open Architecture Coalition and former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña to discuss the importance of using “tiny homes” to provide low-cost emergency housing and storage to vulnerable homeless people currently sleeping unsheltered in San Diego.

They will also discuss why the City San Diego needs to come into compliance with state law and provide shelter for thousands of homeless San Diegans to avoid a lawsuit.

According to Amikas Founder Jeeni Criscenzo:

A fully functional Tiny Home Village for 20 to 30 homeless women and children can be set up in less than two weeks. These “villages” would be designed to make temporary use of vacant lots for no more than 12 months in any location, and provide safe and immediate shelter for our most vulnerable neighbors.

Criscenzo believes providing “Tiny Homes” is an important step in addressing the safety concerns that are part of the homelessness crisis effecting thousands of San Diegans.

According to Criscenzo: “There is no argument that permanent shelter using a “housing first” model is the end goal. But in the meantime people have no place to go.

If we are sincere in our mission to end homelessness, we need multiple alternative sheltering options that can be constructed quickly, while addressing the needs of various populations. Other cities have addressed this problem with tiny home villages as part of the solution.

Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña was Chair of the Housing and Community Development Committee, and notes:

There is an urgent need to provide secure sleeping and storage shelters for an estimated 2300 homeless San Diegans this summer. Several homeless people have been attacked, injured and killed while sleeping unsheltered on city sidewalks, under freeways and in parks. It is likely additional assaults have occurred and have not been reported to authorities.

Despite one arrest, the attacks have continued. It is long past time for the city of San Diego to provide suitable shelter to protect the most vulnerable people in our city. The funding is there- the will to act is not.

Amikas will be filing a complaint with the City of San Diego for their failure to comply with California Civil Code Section 65583 et. seq. that requires cities in California to identify zoning for emergency shelters to include sufficient capacity, when taken as a whole, to meet the need for shelters identified in the housing element, and have a realistic potential for development or reuse opportunities in the planning period.

If San Diego fails to resolve this issue, and continues to show little progress in providing immediate safe and sufficient shelter, Amikas will pursue legal action against the City.

Amikas is a San Diego 501(c)(3) that works to provide housing and improve access to services for homeless women and children.

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