Press Release: Modular Solution for Homelessness - LifeMoves

Silicon Valley Creates Innovative, Modular Solution for Homelessness

LifeMoves Issues $250M “Call to Action” to Silicon Valley

MENLO PARK, CA – May 6, 2021: LifeMoves, Silicon Valley’s largest provider of interim housing and supportive services for those experiencing homelessness, is proud to announce the opening of LifeMoves Mountain View, an innovative, modular solution to provide interim supportive housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. LifeMoves Mountain View was made possible by the State of California’s Homekey program, the City of Mountain View, the County of Santa Clara, Google, LinkedIn, and other philanthropic donors.

Homelessness was already a challenging and increasingly dire situation in Silicon Valley. Covid has made it devastating. Taking an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to this urgent problem, LifeMoves partnered with the City of Mountain View and iconic Silicon Valley companies Google and LinkedIn on an innovative approach to providing interim supportive housing to the unhoused. LifeMoves Mountain View, a 100 unit modular interim housing facility, was built and brought into service in 6 months, at a fraction of the cost of new housing units. The site also dedicates 30% of its square footage to space for supportive services and meeting rooms, allowing LifeMoves to provide its clients case management, health care, counseling, life skills, employment and housing search services. LifeMoves programs are intensively provided over 90-120 days, allowing clients to attain stability, build life skills and savings before exiting to stable housing. With this new site, LifeMoves has the capacity to serve 50+% of the current homeless population in Mountain View over the next year.

“We are so grateful to Governor Newsom for support through Homekey funding, to Mayor Ellen Kamei and the entire City Council of Mountain View, to the County of Santa Clara and to Google and LinkedIn for their immense support to build this needed facility. State, city, county and corporate leaders, along with philanthropic LifeMoves donors, brought this innovative project to life in an amazingly rapid and cooperative way,” stated LifeMoves CEO Aubrey Merriman. “Together, we have demonstrated that where there is the will, there is a way to work together quickly to provide safe, clean interim housing for our unhoused friends, families and neighbors. Visionary leadership is now being harnessed to solve some of our community’s most pressing issues and LifeMoves is so proud to be a part of the solution.”

“LifeMoves Mountain View is a great example of what can happen when state government, local government, corporations, non-profits and philanthropy work together to create innovative solutions to complex issues facing society,” stated California Governor Gavin Newsom. “It is appropriate that this project is being done in Silicon Valley, a center of global innovation, where we have so much talent and so many great thinkers. I’m so proud to be a Californian when I see projects like this where we’ve used creative solutions to help solve problems like housing and homelessness in an innovative and entrepreneurial way. The Homekey program helps our fellow citizens in need and we should all be proud of what we are able to accomplish when we work together.”

LifeMoves CEO Aubrey Merriman: “Our new Mountain View site is also a tool in the fight for equity and social justice. We know that the pandemic has had a disparate impact on communities of color. As we grow our capacity to serve neighbors made homeless in the pandemic, our pandemic response is also an equity response. Even before the pandemic, we know that communities of color were over-represented in the population experiencing homelessness. As we scale our impact to serve those people most impacted, our housing solution is also an equity solution. This site will help us move more people from homelessness to housing and also help us to build a more just and inclusive community.”

MODULAR BUILD
Partnering with development manager Sares Regis group of Northern California, XL Construction, architect Offices of Charles F. Bloszies FAIA and modular housing vendors Connect Homes, Urban Bloc, Falcon Structures and IndieDwell, LifeMoves Mountain View brings an innovative, modular approach, building the housing units offsite and then installing them on the pre-prepped site. This approach, coupled with expedited entitlements enabled by Project Homekey and the City of Mountain View, allowed the project to be completed in six months, as opposed to a traditional build which would have taken 18-24 months. Not only is this method economical, it creates interim housing now, not two years from now.

“This is an incredible day for our city with LifeMoves Mountain View officially opening its doors to help our homeless residents attain stability,” said Mayor Ellen Kamei. “Especially during the pandemic, we are proactively working to respond to the needs of all members of our community. More than ever, we need to be flexible, be creative and be collaborative. Thank you to all of our partners for believing in us and LifeMoves. We now have the Project Homekey interim housing community ready to serve our most vulnerable populations.”

CALL TO ACTION
“With 10 more of these modular, supportive interim housing locations throughout Silicon Valley, we can serve nearly 20,000 people over the next 5 years. That is the scale needed to visually impact homelessness in Silicon Valley and the SF Bay Area, and LifeMoves is committed to do its part to build and operate these sites. We need philanthropic support, we need land, we need city and county support, we need to involve our peer service providers,” stated Joe Stockwell, Chair of the Board, LifeMoves. “We have the programs, we have the experience, we have the will. Each of these sites will cost ~$25M to build and operate for 5 years, and can be implemented within 6 months with city and county leadership, core public funding, and visionary commitment from our business and philanthropic communities to leverage that funding. This $250M call to action by LifeMoves is a first step consistent with the larger regional action plan recently announced by AllHome and with the Big City Mayors’ recent call for State funding to combat homelessness. LifeMoves is the largest provider of interim housing services in Silicon Valley and we are raising our hand to lead in this effort.”

Please join us in helping us take the necessary steps to eradicate homelessness in our communities. The need is so great, we need your help. Please contact Katherine Finnigan, Chief Development Officer at LifeMoves (kfinnigan@lifemoves.org) if you would like to help fund these projects. Contact Joanne Price, VP Real Estate at LifeMoves (jprice@lifemoves.org) if you are a government official and would like to site one of these innovative, interim housing solutions in your city.

PLAYBOOK FOR INNOVATIVE, MODULAR COMMUNITY HOUSING
Silicon Valley and the world have benefited from Open Source software. In that spirit of openness, transparency and providing an innovative platform for others to build upon, LifeMoves produced its “Playbook for a Modular, Supportive Interim Housing Community.”

LifeMoves created this playbook to share our intellectual property with government leaders, corporate leaders and philanthropic leaders so that any community with the will to provide quick-strike, innovative housing can do so. The playbook shows how LifeMoves worked with developers, vendors, contractors and government officials to help bring a quick, innovative solution to a pressing problem. The state, local and national needs are great and this modular solution can quickly address these urgent needs. The executive summary of the playbook is available for download now at www.lifemoves.org/playbook.

This model is intended to rapidly, visibly, and dramatically reduce the prevalence of homelessness in host communities. Anyone in the country can take this playbook and create their own modular solution for homelessness in their state, city or county. Interested parties can also sign up for updates and other, future collateral material (blueprints, case studies, step by step details, webinars and more) in the months to come. LifeMoves hopes to share the client solutions that we have worked on for decades as part of a “how to” for our new, modular interim supportive housing solution. We are doing all that we can to provide interim housing and supportive client services in Silicon Valley and we want to share our experience and case studies with anyone in the nation or world who can use this knowledge to combat homelessness.

 

About LifeMoves

LifeMoves is the largest provider of interim housing and services for homelessness in Silicon Valley. With 26 shelter and service sites from Daly City to San José (our two newest sites are Mountain View and Half Moon Bay), LifeMoves gives our neighbors experiencing homelessness a temporary place to call home while providing intensive, customized case management through both site-based programs and community outreach. The case management teaches the skills that clients need in order to get back to and stay in stable housing and is often referred to as the LifeMoves “secret sauce.” 86% of families and 67% of individuals who engage in LifeMoves programs return to stable housing. Please join us in helping our neighbors: www.lifemoves.org.

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