The public attended a meeting Monday evening in Palm Springs to learn more about a new initiative to help find a solution for homelessness.
The Tiny Home Campus initiative would create a community for homeless people to live in. The campus would provide those in need, shelter, clothing, and toiletries. Those in need would also be provided with counseling and resources such as medical detox, substance abuse rehabilitation, mental and behavioral health services, veteran resources and county housing programs.
"Above all else, they're offered love, compassion, and understanding," states a video on the initiative.
The idea of the initiative is to provide bridge housing for homeless people to provide temporary assistance for 6 to 24 months.
The Street Life Project, a non-profit focused on helping homeless people, hosted the meeting, which was held tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Mizell Senior Center at 480 S Sunrise Way in Palm Springs.
"Any way we can do it to help to basically get our friends off the street. We've done all the research. We know how to make it work," said Christian Jelmberg, founder of the Street Life Project.
According to the 2019 Riverside County point-in-time homeless count, there was a total of 564 homeless people in the Coachella Valley. The number is nearly double that from 2016, when the county counted 305 homeless people.
According to the Street Life Project, the estimated cost for each tiny home unit is $4,500 "plug-and-play." An off-grid unit would cost an additional $1,500. Factoring in restrooms, showers, shared kitchens, and community center, the total cost per unit is $10,000.
The group also presented a side-by-side comparison with other government programs currently being used and further explained why many of them are not sustainable, no matter how much money is thrown at it.
Jelmberg says it'll take a village to get this done correctly and he looks forward to working with local governments.
Click here to learn more about the Street Life Project.