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Hilda L. Solis Care First Village Homeless Housing Shelter

PROJECT PROFILE


Project Location: Los Angeles, CA

Building Use: Modular and Container Homeless Shelter Complex

Total Square Feet: 60,000 sq.ft

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Hilda L. Solis Care First Village Homeless Housing Shelter in Los Angeles Showcases Modular and Shipping Container Construction

Mobile Modular (formerly Vesta Modular), in partnership with Bernards, Crate, ProSet, Guerdon, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis and the Public Works professionals in the city of L.A. recently completed one of our most interesting modular construction projects to date.

In under five months, our teams constructed an innovative and flexible modular homeless shelter complex in a 4-acre former industrial site in downtown L.A. that features both temporary and permanent structures.

Background of the Problem:

Homelessness in L.A. and across the U.S. is not a new problem, but its depth and complexity increases almost every year. In 2020, more than 66,000 people were experiencing homelessness — a sharp 12.7% increase from 2019 —according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Many projects have sought to solve homelessness in L.A. Among the most notable efforts has been the $1.2 billion Proposition HHH, the goal of which is to triple supportive housing production in L.A. Progress on the initiative has been very slow, and one culprit can be found in traditional construction methods themselves, which present several key obstacles that can slow down housing projects.

“The goal is (to) house people as quickly as you can,” said Sarah Dusseault, a commissioner with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority who advised Solis on the project. “Get people into housing right away, even if it’s going to be operated as temporary.”

The CARES Act of 2020, an economic stimulus bill prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, provided the largest part of the funding. Such direct federal dollars allowed officials to avoid some of the time-consuming, nuanced ways in which the county typically acquires funding.

Our Solution:

Modular construction both reduces costs and truncates construction timelines. That is why off-site modular construction was presented as the solution to being on-time and on-budget for the proposed Hilda L. Solis Care First Village Homeless Housing Shelter complex. In late 2019, led by Chair Hilda L. Solis, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to begin exploring short- and long-term housing options, and in October 2020, the county broke ground on the property.

The project features a 232-bed homeless housing complex. The two main buildings boast the unique and trending feature of being made almost completely from modified shipping containers. The buildings are designed to serve homeless populations who might be in need of permanent residency and additional services, AND those who might only need temporary or short-term shelter.

The project also features temporary and relocatable trailer complexes that each include 5 housing units. These buildings are meant to provide a clean, sleek space that offers individual restrooms and refrigerators in each unit.

In addition to the housing units, the main administrative building has the following room types:

  • Dining Facilities
  • Laundry Services
  • Support Service Offices
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Administrative Offices

In all, more than 60,000 square feet of living space was delivered to the Vignes Street site in under 90 days, including the following:

  • 66 shipping containers modified and outfitted by Crate Modular in Carson, California
  • 20 mobile trailers from Guerdon in Boise, Idaho
  • 2 modular elevators from Phoenix Modular Elevator in Mount Vernon, Illinois
  • 9 wooden-frame modules for the administration building from Palomar in De Soto, Texas

How We Did It:

Simply put, we did it by employing two related construction types that allow for time efficiency—modular construction and shipping container construction.

With modular construction, building units are assembled almost entirely offsite in a factory-like environment that is designed to increase construction efficiencies. Additionally, the actual building site can be fully prepped for construction while the modules are being assembled.

Units made from repurposed shipping containers were also fabricated in factory settings off-site while crews laid foundations, utility lines and similar elements onsite. This coordinated logistical approach —bringing people and materials together, nationwide, to work simultaneously, would be necessary to ensure the project’s successful completion within the short timeline.

While not technically “modular construction,” shipping container construction utilizes the same principles and benefits that allow you to finish the interior layouts and wall construction, window installation, and insulation process offsite. Once the shipping containers are on location, they can be bolted together quickly, drastically cutting down the time spent onsite.

The buildings themselves were assembled in such a way that they can easily be moved, removed, and updated for more permanent buildings as housing demands change over time.

Timeline:

The Hilda L. Solis Care First Village Homeless Housing Shelter complex is an eye-opening example of how the construction of homeless housing not just in L.A. but all over the country can be done in a short period of time.

“When did we ever think we would be able to do something so fast at such a low cost at such an opportune time?” said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who initiated the project with a motion adopted by the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 29. “I was amazed. By Oct. 11, the site work had begun.”

The entire project, from project approval to its completion in May 2021 with homeless people taking occupancy, took only eight months, with actual construction taking a remarkable five months.

For an L.A. Times perspective about this project, check out this article by Doug Jones:
This L.A. project shows that homeless housing can be done quickly and cheaply

Is Your Community Looking to Implement a Large-Scale Public Works Construction Project?

We’re ready to help your team get started on a modular building project. From homeless shelters to government office complexes, at Mobile Modular (formerly Vesta Modular), we’re ready to construct the custom, cost-effective building your community needs. Contact us to get started!

Why Call Mobile Modular

By utilizing modular construction and leveraging the experience of the Mobile Modular project team, our client was able to maintain their leadership position and continue their mission to be a global frontrunner in their industry.

If you have any questions about modular building specifications, installation, turnaround time, size specifications, damage cover, insurance, contractual obligations, or adherence to building codes, browse through our comprehensive FAQs section or call us at 866-473-2495.

Our expertise, attention to detail, and end-to-end service is the reason why we continually rank high in customer satisfaction. We understand deadlines and work closely with you to deliver the unit you want on time and budget. Get your project started with Mobile Modular today!

Homeless Housing

Customer

Customer Name: City of Los Angeles

Project Location

Project Location: Los Angeles, CA

Building Type

Building Type(s): Custom Modular Solutions, Dorms and Workforce Housing

Total Area

Total Sq. Ft: 60,000 sq. ft.

Building

Permanent or Temporary: Permanent

Hilda L. Solis Care First Village Homeless Housing Shelter 1
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