FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DignityMoves Announces Three Inaugural Communities Focused on Interim Housing Solutions and Rebuilding Lives of the Homeless
San Francisco, CA, March 8, 2022 – DignityMoves, an innovative nonprofit organization focused on building interim supportive housing communities for people experiencing homelessness, announced the launch of their three inaugural DignityMoves communities including San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Rohnert Park. From $30,000 per room and constructed in just months, these communities and others planned will soon provide hundreds of dignified, private rooms for people who have been sleeping in tents, encampments and on the streets of California.
Elizabeth Funk, Founder and Executive Chairman of DignityMoves said, “While more permanent housing is critical for alleviating the housing crisis, building sufficient permanent housing is expensive and will take years, while our unhoused neighbors need help now.”
“Our streets cannot be the waiting room. The longer people are on the streets, trauma takes a serious toll, making future successful outcomes much more challenging. DignityMoves provides rapid, cost-effective ways to bring people indoors immediately to avoid perpetuating that trauma and begin rebuilding their lives.”
DignityMoves builds Interim Supportive Housing communities on vacant land or parking lots using California’s emergency building codes. Boss Homes and the design firm Gensler collaborated to design prefabricated panel systems that can be assembled on-site quickly. The buildings have an estimated useful life of over 20 years– when a project ends, they are relocated. Sharon Lai, Executive Director of DignityMoves said, “This portability allows communities to scale interim housing up and down as the situation requires with underutilized vacant land that might only be available for a limited time.”
Two such temporary projects are underway for 70 rooms at 33 Gough Street in San Francisco and 33 rooms at 1016 Santa Barbara Street in downtown Santa Barbara. The 33 Gough Street community began welcoming its first clients last week. Both projects are partnerships with local jurisdictions and nonprofit agencies who will provide supportive services. Plans are underway to soon build many more communities across the West Coast.
These temporary communities can be completed in a matter of months and provide shared bathroom and shower facilities, case manager offices, dining buildings, computer labs, clinics, and community spaces. The entire budget for a temporary community is approximately $30,000 per room, including site work and all support buildings.
For sites where land is available for extended periods of time, DignityMoves collaborates with other manufacturers such as Connect Homes to build permanent structures. DignityMoves, the City of Rohnert Park and HomeFirst Services were awarded a Homekey grant for $14.6 million to build a 60-room community on city-owned land at 6020 Labath Street in Rohnert Park. DignityMoves is partnering with other jurisdictions on additional Homekey projects.
Central to DignityMoves’ vision is that everyone receives a private room with a door that locks. Many experiencing homelessness are reluctant to accept beds in traditional group shelters. DignityMoves believes offering this sense of security will make clients more willing to engage in the critical supportive services needed to address the barriers to stable housing. One resident shared, “When I was living in my tent, I felt like I was constantly in survival mode, worried about my safety and where I might find my next meal. Now I am warm and dry and can lock my door at night.”
DignityMoves oversees all aspects of building these interim supportive housing projects. They partner with cities and counties to identify suitable vacant land and collaborate with agencies who provide supportive services, including intensive case management, mental and behavioral healthcare, job placement and housing placement support. Fundraising from private philanthropy and impact investors to finance project construction is provided by DignityMoves.
DignityMoves was founded by a group of business leaders from the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) who came together to apply their business skills and resources to end unsheltered street homelessness in our communities by building Interim Supportive Housing with rapid, cost-effective, scalable solutions. Focused initially on California, the organization plans to expand nationally. For more information, a press kit, or to donate to DignityMoves please visit www.dignitymoves.org.
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Founder, Executive Chairman