“Tiny Home Villages Have Put a Band-Aid on Homelessness Amid the Pandemic. What’s the Long Term Solution?” (Community Information Needs Proposal)

The formats of “Are You in Coronavirus Quarantine? Tell Us What Authorities Told You So We Can Make Sure It’s Right” and “Despite Pandemic Morton East Seniors Make Best of Graduation” stood out to me. I thought the tones were quite contrasting, with the ProPublica project being very straight-forward and informative. I’d consider finding a middle area, with a project that’s data-driven and a story.

My original COVID-related question was, “What’s an effect from the pandemic that may actually benefit the community going forward? Can you reflect on a certain moment or experience?” The thought crossed my mind to narrow it down, and I chose, “Tiny Home Villages Have Put a Band-Aid on Homelessness Amid the Pandemic. What’s the Long Term Solution?” I’m confident in turning it into a project. I found these articles, “Tiny homes, big-picture homeless solution?” and “Tiny Houses — Not a Big Enough Solution,” and I think they ask some similar questions as I would. I think the Shelterforce article is a bit overly-critical, but the Prince George Citizen had a very relevant interview with a social worker, which I thought proved its validity. The tiny homes are helping those in need with hygiene, overall mental and physical health, and more. With the location of the closest tiny home to me being in North Hollywood, I plan on using statistics from that region.

This chart from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has a very thorough breakdown and allows you to see the data neighborhood by neighborhood. (https://www.lahsa.org/data?id=45-2020-homeless-count-by-community-city)

Crosstown (https://products.xtown.la/coronavirus) provides crucial COVID data for the project.

With The Listening Post in mind, I plan to insert the data in a non-intimidating way. By non-intimidating, I mean hard to understand. Some charts and graphs aren’t easy to grasp, and they’re not always fun to read through. So, instead of simply numbers, I’d choose to include more experts or shorter quotes.

One gap I would want to close is the connection between the pandemic and homelessness. I think it stems from the struggles that the Census had in terms of ‘counting’ homeless people. Data from that demographic would truly help me pinpoint the question. Based upon my reading, however, I’m clear on the direction of combining both aspects.

North Hollywood isn’t the same place I remember growing up. I remember North Hollywood being a place you didn’t want to spend much time in. Now, it’s brighter. New businesses, nicer apartments and condos. However, it doesn’t account for the people who weren’t part of the new plan. On charts of both COVID infection rate and homelessness, North Hollywood has been colored a deep red.

I plan to use photos of progress, like the tiny homes. While my project asks a question, it’s not cynical, it’s not an op-ed. I’ll attempt to seek first-hand accounts, public records, and present them in a down-to-earth way. I won’t intend it to be hard news, the desired tone will be sincere, but not institutional.

LA-based musician and journalist.