San Diego

Emergency Sleeping Cabin Built Downtown For Homeless Women and Children

The cabin is behind the temporary bridge shelter on Newton Avenue in San Diego

Volunteers are coming together to build an emergency sleeping cabin for homeless women and children. 

The cabin, also known as a 'tiny home,' is behind the temporary bridge shelter run by the Alpha Project, which serves the homeless of San Diego. The bridge shelter on Newton Avenue in San Diego currently houses over 300 people. 

"Women and children are the most vulnerable on the streets as well as the disabled," said Bob Mcelroy, President of the Alpha Project. "We had one family with ten kids living in a tent smaller than this cabin. They could have their own place. They could have privacy and dignity here." 

The local nonprofit Amikas donated the emergency sleeping cabin to the Alpha Project. 

"If you're looking to build low-income housing it's going to take a number of years," said Evie Kosower, a board member of Amikas. "There are thousands of people living on the streets in San Diego. There needs to be something for them in the meantime." 

Each cabin costs about $2,500 to build and takes five hours to complete. 

It is currently not legal to place the cabins in the city of San Diego. Amikas is working to find a suitable place to put the rest of the planned structures.

Project Alpha is using the cabin as a demonstration for now. If it works, they are hoping to build 10 to 20 of them.

"Everybody wants their own home," said Mcelroy. "The vast majority of folks in San Diego who have good jobs and transportation and good credit, can't afford a home. I think we can do better with these." 

If the cabins are built, they will be filled on a vulnerability basis, meaning the most elderly people or families in the most need will get first priority, Mcelroy said. 

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