Our mission includes improving the lives of people without adequate shelter by providing low-cost, ecological housing solutions. Although we have a special interest in aiding those in developing nations, we need not look that far for those in need. In America, the County of Los Angeles is recognized as having the largest homeless population in the country. IGDC Solutions is working to address homelessness by using our proprietary building techniques (using cargo containers) to develop multi-family Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) locally.

The need is clear. By some reports, a staggering 90,000 people live on the streets in L.A. County alone. Other reports claim the number is closer to 50,000. In addition:

  • 33% are under age 24 (a 2013 Housing and Urban Development survey)
  • 50% are women and children fleeing domestic violence (numerous studies)
  • Another 33% of all male homeless persons are veterans. Over 6,000+ call the streets of Los Angeles home (according to the Veterans Administration)
  • 25% of all homeless are mentally ill
  • 38% are alcoholics
  • 26% are addicted to other substances

Most people become addicts AFTER they become homeless, not before (as per a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services).

Many factors can contribute to someone becoming homeless in the United States including, but not limited to:

  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Lack of health care
  • Mental illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Poverty
  • Job loss

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the various municipal Police Departments are on the front lines when dealing with homeless Angelinos.

IGDC Solutions’ design and build strategy for PSH–permanent, affordable housing linked to customized services–is the single best tool we have for ending homelessness among those living with disabilities. It’s far cheaper than leaving people to live and die on the street, circulating through hospitals and jails, and far more effective than emergency homeless services that provide beds and meals but do little to address the mental and physical disabilities associated with street-dwelling homelessness.

Study after study has shown that PSH is cheaper than leaving the chronically homeless in a desperate cycle of emergency-room visits and jail stints.

Contrary to popular belief, supportive housing does not have a negative impact on neighborhoods or property values. Housing providers frequently refurbish blighted properties for use in PSH, and the availability of PSH units moves the chronically homeless off the streets, revitalizing neighborhoods and often increasing property values.

More than 33% of the homeless population in Los Angeles County are chronically homeless, higher than in any other metropolitan region. But Los Angeles County has yet to make a substantial financial or political investment in PSH, leaving the chronically homeless to live and die on the street at an astronomical cost to taxpayers.

A night in a Los Angeles jail costs $64, a night in a mental hospital costs $607, and a night in a general hospital costs $1,474. A night in supportive housing costs just $30.

Los Angeles currently has approximately 4,500 permanent housing units. Of those, less than a thousand have a rich enough level of services to be considered Permanent Supportive Housing.

Recommended links:

Articles

Organizations

  • Housing Works — a non-profit organization serving Los Angeles County whose mission is to create accessible housing and service operations that model, with respect and dignity, sustainable environmentally sensitive, affordable, communities with people of limited resources.
  • National Coalition for Homelessness
  • UN Habitat For A Better Urban Future (Overview of the organization and its mission to develop adequate shelter for all.)