Two California Motels Transformed into Transitional Housing

Unlike most transitional housing, which is aimed at individuals, a project in the Southern California desert caters to families.

1 minute read

April 30, 2024, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of The Sierras, a colorful converted motel now serving as transitional housing in Lancaster, California.

The Sierras, a pair of converted motels in Lancaster, California, now serves as transitional housing for 38 families. | Kadre Architects / The Sierras

Two former motels in the desert community of Lancaster, California are now a colorful transitional housing complex with 38 units, reports Nate Berg in Fast Company.

As Berg explains, “Covering four acres, the $7 million campus is the latest location of Hope the Mission, a non-profit provider of homeless services working primarily in the L.A. region. Known as the Sierras, the campus includes housing, support services, a commercial kitchen that serves residents three meals a day, and a variety of outdoor recreation and exercise amenities.”

The complex is specifically geared toward families, a fact that heavily informs its design, which includes play areas and shade structures, a zig-zag fence for security, and walking paths. “Creating a mix of private, semi-private, and communal spaces was a priority for the project, which aims to be a stabilizing space for families as they transition out of homelessness.”

The project, designed by Kadre Architects, faced budgetary constraints and unanticipated challenges such as the need to remove aging septic tanks and build connections to the city’s sewer system. Kadre founder Nerin Kadribegovic takes an optimistic view, noting, “When your budgets are tight and you’re really driven to make an impact, it forces you to be more creative.”

Monday, April 29, 2024 in Fast Company

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