In 2014, R-3 began down the path of exploring the possibility of using Tiny/Micro Homes to help make a dent in the number of homeless individuals and families as well as the availability of homeless housing in Northern California communities. For over a decade, the number of homeless on the street each night has been increasing year over year to now over 2,400 individuals in spite of the many organizations providing food, clothing and other essentials. After ten years of serving on the Community Homeless Solutions Board of Directors, Eric Johnsen was frustrated with cities, agencies and government entities not addressing one of the key factors in reducing homelessness, which was providing truly affordable housing, not traditional "affordable housing "units at more than $350,000 per unit.
Research has shown - as has our own local experience and across the country - that providing stable housing, including transitional and permanent housing, has the greatest impact on not only the long term outcomes of those experiencing homelessness but also in lowering the social and economic costs of supporting those on the street. One study out of Utah showed a decrease of about $6,500 per year if they simply housed homeless individuals in an apartment and provided case management support instead of letting them remain on the street.
For our own agency, about 82% of men and women in our transitional housing programs find permanent housing, and over 65% find employment or increase their wages upon leaving the program. This is great data and outcomes! But what do you do when there is not enough housing being developed to not only house our homeless, but meet the needs of the majority of workers in our two largest industries - agriculture and hospitality? "Affordable housing" now exceeds $350,000 per unit to develop, which is out of the reach of those most in need. Additionally, rental units exceed $1,200-$2,000 for regular one and two bedroom apartments, and are in scarce supply.
Ex-Prisoners - Even Larger Conundrum
While looking into the homeless housing problem, one segment of society is even more profoundly impacted than "regular" homeless individuals, and that is ex-prisoners. One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome when being discharged from prison with $200 in your pocket and a bus ticket is to find stable housing and employment that is meaningful and helps contribute to savings to meet future needs. Housing is vital - it provides security, stability, safety and protection from the elements, but equally important, provides dignity for the resident. Without housing and employment, ex-prisoners generally return to prison approximately 70 percent of the time over three years and at a cost of $65,000 per year to house them. Is this the solution we are proud of? Initial discussions with Soledad Prison look promising in fulfilling a vision of having prisoners who will be out on parole in the next year or two build Tiny Home units in the prison vocational program, learning great trade skills, and then move into a post-prison Village after release. Here they could be employed to build and assemble tiny homes for other uses. We need support and a miracle to make this happen, but believe this will come about, as the need is great, and the missing leg of the stool - post-prison integration back into the community - can be achieved with this type of model.
Micro Home Villages - Part of the Solution
Out of the vision and desire to correct these housing and support problems, R-3 has developed a comprehensive solution that integrates the best of Micro Homes with community support and wrap-around services to meet the needs of not only our homeless, but ex-prisoners, students, farm workers, veterans and others just seeking to find affordable housing. Micro Home Villages of 25-35 homes, integrated with community buildings and gathering areas, not only respond to the issue of housing affordability for our residents who are economically challenged but also provide the opportunity to build community and support from others so vital to lasting success. Tiny Homes in particular offer unique opportunities compared to traditional expense housing including:
The Micro Home Villages also provide a path to ownership by residents over a period of time if desired by residents of the Village. This innovative approach provides dignity and hope for our clients and a way out and up instead of dependency and loneliness.
Get to know our experienced business development, design and build teams. They’ve got tools, skills, and a desire to help bring creative solutions to local communities. Each member works tirelessly to serve our common purpose: to provide solutions that help restore the stability, dignity and hope of each person, entity and community we serve.
Our team is comprised or regional professionals and experts who work with local jurisdictions and owners to put together comprehensive micro housing and social enterprise solutions that help solve community problems through new and creative solutions.
The right care can ensure the success of any community solutions and effort. We believe in partnership & trust and work with you to help address local problems with constructive solutions.
Design and building micro housing villages and ADUs provides a means to our primary end, which is the restoration of broken lives and those on the risk of homelessness to have hope and to thrive. We have a passion for and love for those we serve and for assisting cities, counties and individuals to help solve homelessness and restore hope.
We seek to create several green, sustainable Micro Home Villages for those who are seeking very low-cost housing options that not only takes advantage of the Micro Home movement, but equally important, develops intentional community into the design, layout, and services of each Village location.
We promise to always provide value and outstanding service, regardless of your lifestyle need, design preference, or budget constraint. We will not provide solutions that are contrary to the best interest of clients or community constituents.
MICRO ENTERPRISE HOUSING, ADUs AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS
R3 is a non-profit dedicated to developing very low-cost Micro Home villages and integrated supportive solutions for a variety of applications. As an integrator and developer, R3 not only pulls together local constituents and both local and industry experts and leaders to create and develop unique Tiny Home communities and provide low-cost houses and support structures tailored to the needs of many constituents. R3 also maintains a regional consortium of the best industry experts to formulate and develop creative solutions that address the conditions and needs of each local community, each property owner, each county requirement. Farm workers, students, homeless communities and even first-time home-buyers can benefit from this innovative integrated housing solution.
R-3 provides turn-key housing and development solutions including:
For more information regarding R-3 services and expertise, contact Eric Johnsen at 831.214.0964 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Partners and Collaborators
CA Department of Corrections/CTF Soledad - https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/
Rancho Cielo - Construction Program - https://www.ranchocieloyc.org/rancho-cielo-construction-academy
E49 Foundation - Social Enterprises and Tiny Home Villages - http://www.e49corp.org/
Self Help Federal Credit Union - https://www.self-helpfcu.org/
City of Modesto - https://www.modestogov.com/
City Ministry Network - https://www.cityministrynetwork.org/
Community Homeless Solutions - Homeless Housing, Shelters and Wrap Around Services - https://www.communityhomelesssolutions.org/
Love Our Central Coast - Church Partnerships and Community Service - http://www.loveourcentralcoast.org