In Midway City, California, American Family Housing and GrowthPoint Structures have come to the rescue to help house the area’s homeless veterans.
Potter’s Lane, which consists of 16 studio-apartment units refurbished from cargo containers, is said to be the first example in the nation of a multi-unit permanent housing complex fashioned in this way.
“Thinking outside of the box is what we have to do to get these veterans housed,” said Timothy Wilson of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Long Beach, speaking to a crowd of about 300 visitors at the unveiling of the nearly completed complex.
According to the OC Register, the “box” at Potter’s Lane is each of the 8-by-20-foot containers that once transported dry goods to California ports but have been converted into insulated living quarters by the Los Angeles-based GrowthPoint Structures. Three modified containers make up each studio apartment.
Fifteen of the sixteen units are set for homeless veterans, with an on-site manager occupying the other unit. Amenities include a common room, a central patio with a barbecue and a garden with raised beds to grow vegetables. The VA and non-profit Orange County’s Illumination Foundation will subsidize rents and provide wrap around services.
“Oh, I love it,” said Paul Leon, Illumination Foundation founder and president prior to the start of the event. “I feel this is going to be the campus model.”
James “Jimmy” Palmiter, a Vietnam War-era veteran who served stateside, took his first look at the fully furnished units in the complex during the event, and was floored.
“I can’t believe all the stuff they put in there,” said Palmiter, who moved last month from his van into temporary quarters at American Family Housing’s main building.
“Did you see the coffeemaker? It’s gigantic.”
Each unit is furnished with a double bed, easy chair, dresser and flat-screen TV, small dining table and fully equipped kitchen. A women’s church group in Westminster contributed handmade red, white and blue-themed quilts.
Move in day is expected to be some time this week.
Donna Gallup addresses the crowd. Credit: OC Register.
Donna Gallup, president and chief executive of American Family Housing, reflected her pride in the project in her comments during the event.
“Who would have guessed that Orange County would be the leader in this nation, on this front?” said Gallup. “But, we are.” ##