Page 8 - Community Newsletter :: Spring 2021
P. 8

 Tiny Homes Project
 For many foster youth, the day they turn 18, they are on their own, responsible to find a place to live, manage their finances, education, food and clothing while most of their peers continue to receive help from mom and dad. The process of becoming an adult overwhelms many young people, who are suddenly on their own at the age of 18, and at times, this can lead to homelessness. Because of the great barriers facing this subset of the population and other homeless youth, the City of El Centro collaborated with Imperial Valley College (IVC) and the IVC Foundation to assist in providing housing to homeless students. IVC estimates there are 210 homeless youths attending IVC and has prioritized providing services and housing to these young adults.
As part of the partnership, the City of El Centro submitted a State of California Homekey Grant Application in the amount of $2,600,000 and was subsequently awarded the full amount requested for the construction of 26 tiny home units. An additional $524,000 in grant funds was obtained for 2 years of operation and maintenance costs from Enterprise, a nonprofit foundation. This project provides housing for 26 homeless college students, and prioritizes those who are former foster youth.
The project in El Centro is 1 of 94 projects awarded in the State of California. The purpose of the State’s Homekey Program was to purchase housing in order to increase the community’s capacity to respond to homelessness and the current COVID-19 pandemic. While the grant application process was very competitive, ultimately, the City’s grant application was successful due to our strong grant application preparation.
The construction of the Tiny Home Project will be completed in late April 2021. Because of the pandemic, there have been some minor delays in
construction due to shortage of building supplies, such as concrete. The Tiny Homes are each 170 square feet, and include a regular sized restroom, kitchenette, washer/dryer combo unit, and common area. The project is located at the southwest corner of Bradshaw Avenue and 12th Street.
“The quick completion of the tiny homes project is a true testament of collaboration,” said El Centro Mayor and Cal Cities President Cheryl Viegas-Walker. “I am grateful that the city was part of this project, recognizing the lifetime benefits for IVC students who can now focus on their education in a stable and secure environment. The positive outcomes that will result from this project will be seen in the community for many years.”
The IVC Foundation is providing long-term maintenance and operation of the project site, as well as offsite case management and wraparound services for the students who will be residing at the tiny homes facility.
The City of El Centro is thankful to the entire community for its support of the project. Building a project of this magnitude during such a short time frame requires strong collaboration with utilities, such as the Imperial Irrigation District, Time Warner Cable, AT&T as well as others. Each of the companies the city worked with including Michael William Mordah Construction, BJ Engineering, and Back Porch Homes was instrumental in delivering the project in a short time frame.
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