On Wednesday February 8th, Orange County received the first of it’s kind housing development for homeless veterans. Potters Lane, owned and operated by the non-profit American Family Housing, is the name of the new apartment building. What sets it apart from previous housing projects? It’s built from recycled insulated shipping containers that were once used to carry dry goods in California’s ports.
The complex consists of 16 studio apartment units; 15 are for homeless veterans and one is reserved for an on-site property manager. Each 480 square foot unit is built from three containers and arrives prefabricated from a company called GrowthPoint. There are many common areas where veterans will be encouraged to spend time and socialize with fellow residents, fostering a sense of community and mutual support. The apartments at Potters Lane are designed to be strong, sustainable and energy efficient. This development, completed in 5 months, is paving the way for new projects to be developed on similar small parcels of land.
The grand opening ceremony was attended by roughly 300 people and featured various speakers from non-profits, retired military personnel, and government officials during the program. Supporting organizations included the Illumination Foundation, Cal Vets Services, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and many more. The County of Orange has also been a proud sponsor of the project throughout the entire process of development. Supervisor Andrew Do was present to give an address praising the projects and discussing homelessness response on behalf of the County.
“Potters Lane is cost effective, eco-friendly, and comprehensive with it’s on-site services. More strategic, smaller developments like this are needed,” said Supervisor Do. “With our multi-prong approach to addressing the root cause of homelessness, including the need for more affordable housing, we in Orange County are showing that a community can accomplish great things when we are united and work together.”
Potters Lane provides a model that can be replicated by other non-profits, agencies, and local governments. The innovative new approach can be woven into the planning of cities, counties, and states across the nation. Veterans are expected to move into the complex next week once all permits are finalized. Potters Lane will serve as a life changing residence for some of Orange County’s homeless veterans.
If you would like to volunteer or donate to make a difference in the life of a homeless veteran, you can contact American Family Housing by phone at (714) 897-3221 for more information.