The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has donated $1 million to the Victorville-based Family Assistance Program’s effort to help end youth homelessness.
This money will be used to expand the nonprofit’s youth drop-in and community center located on the corner of Sixth and C streets in Old Town Victorville.
This expansion will include the creation of a “tiny home village” with 14 units, 20 beds, an emergency shelter, and a commercial kitchen for young adults ages 18 - 24 that are experiencing homelessness.
This will be the first tiny home village created exclusively for transitional age youth that who are experiencing homelessness in the state, according to the Victorville nonprofit.
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“I am excited that the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has recognized the need for youth-specific services and is supporting this innovative project,” said the nonprofit’s Executive Director Darryl Evey. “If we do not end youth homelessness, we will not stop the pipeline of people who have had their childhoods destroyed by housing insecurity. This project will set these young people up for a lifetime of successes.”
This tiny village project will connect homeless youth with emergency services and our other transitional programs that include wraparound care in a part of our community that truly needs it, Evey said.
“We are deeply honored to support the Family Assistance Program and their first-ever Tiny Home Village to help combat homelessness for the young adults impacted in Victorville,” said San Manuel Chairman Ken Ramirez. “Our youth are the future, and no young adult should ever have to experience not having a roof over their head. Investing in infrastructure that will provide future generations with the necessary resources to thrive is a top priority for San Manuel.”
Assemblyman Thurston “Smitty” Smith said he is excited to see the increased services and tiny home village to assist the community’s most vulnerable youth population.
“Youth homelessness is a critical issue that non-profit organizations like the Family Assistance Programs are tackling head-on,” Smith said. “The generosity of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and their commitment to bettering our community is unmatched.”
Homelessness in California
Among California’s total homeless population of 161,548, there were 12,172 unaccompanied young adults ages 18-24 that were experiencing homelessness, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
In April 2020, San Bernardino County’s Point In Time Count revealed just over 2,600 individuals in the county without permanent housing, a nearly 23% increase from the about 2,118 homeless persons counted in January of the previous year, according to the Daily Press.
The PITC also found that Victorville topped the homeless list among High Desert municipalities, with 451 people counted as either sheltered, in transitional housing, or unsheltered.
The report showed 648 homeless individuals found in Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, Phelan/Pinon Hills and Victorville.
Tiny Home Villages in Los Angeles County
In February, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission launched a similar youth housing project — the first Tiny Home Village for adults located in Los Angeles.
Since then, the nonprofit has built and funded five additional tiny home villages in the county.
The tiny homes are 64 square feet in size, with two beds, heating, air-conditioning, windows, a small desk, and a front door.
The properties include onsite meals, showers, case management, housing navigation, mental health, job training, and placement.
Family Assistance Program
Since 1985, the Family Assistance Program has provided shelter and advocacy services to victims of domestic violence.
Throughout the years, the agency has increased with the opening of a larger shelter, a transitional housing program, a separate outreach office, and satellite offices in San Bernardino and Fontana.
The nonprofit has embarked on several new programs, including two runaway/homeless youth shelters, a homeless youth street outreach team, youth drop-in centers, Next Step re-entry program, community centers, anti-human trafficking program, and other programs and services to support the needs of the Victor Valley, San Bernardino and Morongo Basin communities.
For more information on the Family Assistance Program, visit www.FamilyAssist.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 760-843-0701. The emergency hotline is 760- 949-4357
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Tiny home village planned for homeless young adults in Victorville