Homeboy Industries has long been acclaimed for its gang rehabilitation and anti-recidivism services.  Now, citing the housing instability of its client base, the Chinatown-based non-profit organization is branching into development.

View of the proposed Homeboy Industries development from Vignes Street looking southHomeboy Industries/KFA Architecture

This week, Homeboy Industries announced plans to develop a parking across the street from its Chinatown headquarters as transitional housing.  The proposed project, which would rise at the southeast corner of Alameda and Alpine Streets, would consist of a five-story edifice featuring 157 residential units.

“Nearly three quarters of program participants at Homeboy Industries are unhoused," said Shirley Torres, Homeboy's chief officer of programs in a news release. "Developing more direct and secure housing for them is a high priority, a critical need. Having safe housing will shrink a massive stressor for the homegirls and homeboys and allow them to focus on healing and growth. A housing first approach is incredibly effective to prevent recidivism and this investment in people provides a ripple effect to the individuals, their families and communities."

Culver City-based KFA Architecture is designing the 36,000-square-foot building, which would have separate floors for men, women, and families.  The new housing and accompanying structures would wrap around a site which also fronts the intersection of Main and Vignes Streets.

“The Homeboy campus is designed to be a unique offering in the housing of the homies in the program and the management of the organization," said KFA Architecture partner Jonathan Watts.  "The two planned housing buildings offer a continuum of support for the Homeboy population with dorm style apartments and supportive housing. The first phase will also provide stacked parking, a gym, a mechanic’s garage and outdoor recreational space.”

903 N Main StreetGoogle Street View

Homeboy Industries board member Wayne Ratkovich, founder and chairman of The Ratkovich Company, is helping to shepherd the project through the Los Angeles land use and entitlement process.

The non-profit is now seeking philanthropic investment for both the development of the new housing and potentially other sites adjacent to its headquarters. Homeboy intends to raise approximately $5 million of equity out of a total $15 million budget for the project, with the balance to be debt financed.  Rental income from tenants would service the debt, as well as cover operating costs for the building.

The project, which is on pace to break ground as soon as the second quarter of 2022, would provide housing for participants in Homeboy's 18-month training program.  Completion could occur as early as late 2023.

903 N Main StreetGoogle Maps

The Homeboy Industries housing development is one component of a new "Restorative Justice Village" planned for Chinatown, which builds off of a new interim and supportive housing complex which recently opened at the opposite corner of Main and Vignes Streets.  Other sites, including what is now Men's Central Jail and land controlled by the California Endowment, could also be folded in to the master plan.

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