The most recent Homeless Point-In-Time Count for Alameda County, CA conducted in 2019 revealed the number of homeless to be 8.022 – an increase of 42% over the 2017 count with 79% of those counted being unsheltered. A project recently completed for First Presbyterian Church “FirstPres” Hayward responded to the need for additional transitional housing and unique programming to assist chronically homeless individuals to move to independence. This project was completed with 100% of the construction costs of $260,00 donated through in-kind donations and cash contributions from HomeAid.
The Tiny Homes project for FirstPres Hayward consists of six mobile housing units in the church parking lot to help homeless individuals transition from homeless to housed. These units serve as temporary, transitional housing for 6-12 individuals. To be eligible for one of these units, the residents need to be homeless within unincorporated Alameda County. FirstPres Hayward identifies, screens, and recruits eligible applicants by leveraging existing relationships with community partners, such as Community Resources for Independent Living (CRIL), South Hayward Parish, and Abode Services, that currently work with homeless individuals and families.
Residents are eligible for up to 18 months in the program, with program costs at $200 per month for the initial quarter of residence. After each completed quarter of residence, program costs increase by an additional $200 per month. Costs from the initial quarter of residence are utilized to cover the cost of utilities and overhead program costs. Money collected over and above these costs is deposited into a savings account for the resident, which results in a resident transitioning out of the program with $6,000 saved after 18 months. When the resident is ready to transition to formal and long-term housing, they will have funds available to afford a deposit on stable housing equal to the standard first and last month's rent of a new residence.
Chizu Buckalew, Christian Community Director for FirstPres Hayward shared that HomeAid was key in getting the Tiny Homes built, and at no cost! She went on to say: “The majority of residents in the Tiny Homes have been living on the streets or in their cars for at least a year before reaching us. Among the first residents that arrived when we opened in February was a woman named Carol who had been living in her car with her mother. Carol was employed full-time, but she didn’t make enough to be able to live independently. When she heard about Tiny Homes she applied right away and was accepted into the program. Carol received case management and housing navigation from Abode Services and was referred to agencies to receive other supportive services. The good news is that Carol has a new job, earning more than she did before and because of the Tiny Homes Project, she’s got savings to help her move to independence. In July, we will celebrate our first graduation when Carol moves into affordable permanent housing. We couldn’t have done this without HomeAid.”
HomeAid's 6 Tiny Homes Project is complete for people experiencing homelessness. Watch the video!
100 people celebrated the Ribbon Cutting of the 6 Hayward Tiny Homes on Thursday, February 13th!