CITY OF ALAMEDA’S FIRST INTERIM SUPPORTIVE HOUSING COMMUNITY OFFICIALLY OPENS
On May 3, 2023, project partners and supporters celebrated the grand opening of Dignity Village, the first interim supportive housing development in the City of Alameda, CA. Attendees included Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft; City Council and staff; California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Branch Chief Timothy Lawless; state representatives; nonprofit developer DignityMoves; and Five Keys Schools and Programs.
“Projects like Dignity Village help us meet the goal of ending homelessness, and many of the individuals who will live here are from or have a family connection to Alameda,” said Mayor Ashcraft. “The shortage of shelter for community members is both a housing crisis and a human crisis. We have a moral obligation to provide people the dignity and protection of shelter, whether from the powerful storms we experienced this winter or the record heat many scientists are predicting.”
Guests toured the new development which provides a safe environment for up to 61 unhoused individuals at a time, mainly from the City of Alameda, along with social service resources provided by Five Keys. The gated community is staffed 24/7 to keep the site safe, clean, and running smoothly, and to help residents find a path to stability.
Dignity Village includes two-story modular residential buildings prefabricated by Factory_OS, and comprises 47 private rooms with heating and cooling systems and ensuite bathrooms—including a few that are ADA accessible. Five of the units are designated for unsheltered transitional-age youth.
California Modulars prefabricated the structures containing the administrative space, laundry room, shared kitchen, dining room, and multipurpose room. The site also features a pet area and parking spaces. The project was funded by a combination of HCD’s Homekey program, the City of Alameda, the Alameda County Housing and Community Development Department, DignityMoves, and various donors.
According to Steve Good, President and Chief Executive Officer of Five Keys, interim supportive housing developments like Dignity Village function as safe environments to help unhoused individuals prepare for permanent housing or family reunification.
“This is transitional housing… that means in as little as six months or up to two years, that room becomes available again to get the next person that’s in the queue stabilized and move them onto permanent supportive housing,” Good said.
Swinerton worked diligently to overcome significant challenges such as the pandemic, supply chain shortages, record-breaking winter storms, and a tight timeline. The team delivered the entire project within six months, and Dignity Village will be welcoming its first 24 residents soon.
“That’s an aggressive timeline, and it’s aggressive for a reason, because this is a crisis and we need to be moving fast,” said Elizabeth Funk, DignityMoves Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “And the only way we can move fast is when the teams come together like this… because it takes that kind of partnership to finally bring our neighbors indoors, where they can start to thrive and heal.”
“Swinerton is proud to deliver our third project with DignityMoves and [make impacts] to improve the lives of unhoused individuals,” said Lori Dunn-Guion, Vice President and Division Manager for the Bay Area Building Group. “We thank our workforce for their tireless dedication to deliver this impactful project for Alameda.”
Congratulations to everyone who worked on this vital project, including the State of California for providing the Homekey grant, the City and County of Alameda, DignityMoves, Five Keys Schools and Programs, Cort Furniture, IKEA, and the project team, which included: Swinerton (General Contractor), Gensler (Architect), PAE (Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing), BKF Engineers (Civil), Degenkolb Engineers (Structural), Factory_OS (Residential Modules), California Modulars (Administrative Modules), and various project partners and supporters. Learn more about our other affordable housing projects including the Dignity Moves Rohnert Park location.