Riverside cabins provide homeless with shelter, stepping stone to getting back on their feet

Leticia Juarez Image
Friday, March 20, 2020
Cabins provide Riverside's homeless with shelter
A village of 30-person cabins stand ready to house people living on the streets of Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A village of 30-person cabins stand ready to house people living on the streets of Riverside.

"This is a crisis and we are responding as such through emergency shelter," said Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey.

On Wednesday, Bailey was on hand to unveil the temporary shelters located adjacent to the city's traditional homeless shelter.

"These cabins will be especially effective in providing a new type of housing for homeless people who may be adverse to a traditional shelter environment," said Bailey. "This includes couples, people with pets, families with children who have aged out of the family shelter and individuals suffering from PTSD."

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, residents are urged to stay home. But what about the roughly 36,000 people in Los Angeles who are homeless?

The cabins will be offered to those individuals living in tent encampments just outside the shelter's gates. In addition, services such as mental and job training will also be part of the overall package to help tackle homelessness.

It those services that Kay Godbolt credits with helping get her and her two children off the streets and into a stable living environment.

"It think a lot of people don't know where to go for help or who to talk to for help. A lot of people don't have those resources so I think they definitely want the help," said Godbolt.

The shelters were built by the Washington-based company Pallet. The company's CEO Amy King says many of the employees who had a hand in the cabin's functionality were once homeless themselves.

"The point is for people to have their needs met but also have community and have a space where they belong," said King.

Next week will be move-in day and the first step towards a more permanent home.

The city of Riverside also voted to add 40 more beds at its existing shelter and offer rental assistance to homeless individuals. The 20 cabins will be a permanent fixture while the other 10 will act as shelters for cold weather months.