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Tiny Shelter Project

This page is intended to provide accurate, up-to-date information regarding the status of the Tiny Shelter Project. The Tiny Shelter concept has been put on hold indefinitely.   Please look for the community forums and educational opportunities coming soon.   If you would like to stay up to date on homeless initiatives in the City, please sign up to be on our email list by emailing homelessness@arcadiaca.gov and visit our Community Meetings page

Arcadia’s Homeless Problem:
We currently have over 100 individuals experiencing homelessness in Arcadia. Under the federal law, if we don't have a shelter locally to provide a bed for those homeless people, we cannot prevent them from sleeping on the streets. If they have no place to go, we have to let them stay here. That law has led to the growth in homelessness you see everywhere now, including Arcadia. That has a negative impact on Arcadia businesses and residents right now and what we're trying to fix. We are proposing the shelters as part of a more comprehensive approach to reducing the number of homeless we have in the City. We want to fix the problem in Arcadia while we still can. We already have people on our streets doing drugs and committing small crimes as part of trying to survive. We are trying to get them off the streets to protect our community. While we have no record of the homeless in Arcadia committing any serious crimes, and in general they wish to be left alone and keep to themselves, we do still deal with the homeless issue every day. Our officers and paramedics are spending more and more of their day responding to calls related to the homeless in Arcadia.  While we have to allow the camping, we don't have to allow crime on our streets and our officers respond when a crime is reported or seen. Also, our paramedics respond when someone is medically or mentally in need. What used to be a very small part of their jobs is becoming a big part of their day. The same goes with our Public Works staff, who are cleaning up more and more campsites with trash, bodily waste, needles, graffiti, and the like. These are today's problems we are trying to address.

FAQs

What is the City of Arcadia doing to address homelessness?
2018- City adopted a plan to Prevent and Combat Homelessness.  To view the full plan, please visit https://www.arcadiaca.gov/Recreation/FiveYearHomelessPlan.pdf

October 2019 -Received Grant for $292,000 from Measure H Funds ($163,200 for Arcadia and $129,000 for the City of South Pasadena).  Includes Multijurisdictional Case Manager/Housing Navigator, working in Arcadia and South Pasadena until October 2021, Motel Vouchers, and Rapid Rehousing.

October 2020 -$380,000 received funds from San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG), from Measure H Funds which includes funds for Full Time Case Manager, Encampment Clean ups, First Responder Outreach, City Emergency Resources, Staff Administrative Costs, Prevention and Diversion Funds, and Homeless Resource Hub.

City staff is continuing to work hard with these various grant funds and our community partners on a coordinated response to addressing homelessness.

Have the tiny shelters been approved to be built in Arcadia?

No, the project has NOT been approved.  On February 16, 2021 the City Council voted to submit a letter of intent to the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust (SGVRHT)and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments(SGVRHT) to examine the possibility of Tiny Shelters in Arcadia on County property at the Peck Park access road site.  To read the full staff report, please visit:  https://www.arcadiaca.gov/2021-02-16_CC_Meeting_Agenda.pdf   It is listed as item 13A.

Is the City selling Par3 Golf Course to turn it into a homeless shelter?

No, Arcadia is not selling the Par 3 Golf Course to build a homeless shelter.  To read updates about the Par 3 Golf Course, please visit:  http://www.arcadiaca.gov/arcadiapar3golfcourse

Why is Arcadia exploring the idea of tiny homes?

Tiny homes address the need for emergency housing. Without housing, those experiencing homelessness have no place to go and we can’t get individuals off of the streets into a safe location.  Tiny home shelters are interim housing solutions that represent a quick and scalable approach to addressing emergency shelter needs. Shelters can be built on site and disassembled, moved, and reassembled to meet changing needs. The shelters are weatherproof, climate controlled, and provide privacy for clients.  

For more information and coverage on tiny shelters, read the Pasadena Star-News' article Tiny Homes Bring Hope to the Homeless or check out Pallet's blog post on the City of Riverside's tiny shelters.

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If the project is approved, how many tiny homes will there be?

The project would be a pilot program with about 15 shelters, food, restrooms, showers, possible laundry, case management, security, and other wrap around services that individuals need – all of which would be paid for entirely by grant funds.  If feasible, the services from the Homeless Resource Hub will be moved to the site once a week to continue providing services. 

If the project is approved, what location is being considered?

The City of Acadia, the County of Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust (SGVRHT) and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) are exploring the options of a Tiny Shelter Project at the Peck Park utility access road.  This location is in the City of Arcadia, located on County Property.  

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Who would pay for the tiny homes and what will happen if grant funds end?

The project would be funded by the SGVRHT and the SGVCOG and be placed on County property within the City of Arcadia.  If grant funds run out, we would secure emergency housing for those in the Tiny Shelters, then close the facility.  No general funds for the City would be used for the proposed project. 

If they are placed in Arcadia, who gets to live in these tiny homes? How long will they stay in the tiny homes? How long will tiny homes be in Arcadia?

Union Station Homeless Services would use their list of individuals from Arcadia who would be eligible to be placed in this type of housing, in this area.  Individuals experiencing homelessness from Arcadia will have priority in the shelter.  Once an individual is placed into a tiny shelter, a case manager continues to work the individual to secure more permanent housing.  The pilot program is expected to operate for one year. 

Will Arcadia get "new" homeless if we build the tiny shelters in Arcadia?

No, the Tiny Shelter project would not be a first come, first serve type of shelter.  Our Case Managers/Housing Navigators from Union Station would work with individuals who would be successful in this type of bridge housing.  If someone comes in from outside the area, the case managers reconnect them to their “home” area.  This procedure is done County-wide through the Coordinated Entry System.  It is how the process works.  Yes, individuals experiencing homelessness may come to Arcadia on the Gold Line, but once they are connected to case management, they will be redirected back to their “home” area to continue outreach and services. 

What is the next step before the tiny homes are approved to be located in Arcadia?

We are still exploring the site to determine if it is viable and if we can get the infrastructure (water, power and sewer) needed onsite to support the Tiny Shelters.  If the site is determined to be viable, we would begin the process of public outreach with the community to discuss the potential project and the specifications.  Then, if we continued with the project, it would be brought to the City Council for approval. If approval was secured, we would work on completing the necessary agreements with the affiliated organizations.  Lastly, the site would be prepped with the power, water, sewer, and grading work.

How were Arcadia Residents notified of the past, current, and potential homeless initiatives?

All homeless initiatives are advertised on the City Website, go before the City Council for approval, are discussed at Parks & Recreation Commission and Senior Citizen Commission meetings, are posted on various social media accounts, and are publicized through press releases.  Residents residing within 1000 feet of the Homeless Resource Hub (HRH) received direct mail notifications on the community meetings.

If you are interested in finding out more information on future and past community meetings regarding homelessness, please visit the Community Meetings page.

What will Arcadia do to keep the shelter and community safe?

If the Tiny Shelter project is approved, there would be onsite case management for those who live there, as well as onsite security.  Additionally, our Police Department would work with the County to gain jurisdiction for calls of service to the site so we would have first-hand knowledge of any issues.  We would continue to keep the surrounding trails and area clean and safe.  The City would have continued oversite of the project and would immediately address any issues that arise.

Do the residents get to vote on this project?

The City Council has been elected to decide issues such as this on your behalf.  If you have an opinion on the proposal you may contact the City Council at:

Current Elected City Council Members:

Sho Tay, Mayor
Term: April 2014 through April 2022

Paul P. Cheng, Mayor Pro Tem
Term: April 2020 through April 2024

Tom Beck, Council Member
Term: April 2014 through April 2022

Roger Chandler, Council Member
Term: April 2014 through April 2022


April A. Verlato
, Council Member
Term: April 2016 through April 2024

If you would like to send a message to the entire City Council at the same time, please e-mail: CityCouncil@ArcadiaCA.gov

Will this project hurt my property values?

There is no evidence that a temporary shelter negatively impacts property values nearby.  On the other hand, homeless encampments on sidewalks, in parks, and in business districts do tend to bring down property values because they are seen as a sign of economic distress in the area.  One of the primary reasons the City is contemplating the Tiny Shelters is to protect and enhance property values.

Published: June 10, 2021