Collaboration between Patrick Ruggiero and Jayden Curry
ARC 308, Professor Larry Bowne
The Skid Row district of Los Angeles is home to one of the largest homeless populations in the
. With a median age of 9 years old, a population of over 20,000 people calls the area home at any given night. Many of the people living in the 12 block area have come to live there after being dumped by other states (bussed in) or by the state of United States itself after the people are unable to pay for things such as hospital bills. California
Typical Skid Row shelters offer services to the people of the area but fail to address the broader issues of poverty and a lack of resources in the area. This has created both a vibrant (but dangerous) street culture of tent dwellers and temporary stay houses which are reserved for high risk tenants (a mother with children). The culture of Skid Row has become that of the lions and the lambs.
The Herban Hostel aims to provide both a safe living environment and to become economically self-sustainable. By growing crops those who stay at the hostel will participate in agrotherapy and be treated by the crops they are growing. By selling the crops, the hostel will gross over $100 million per year based on the .85 acres of growing area. This income will more than cover the cost of housing and caring for the people that stay at the hostel and use services such as counseling and higher education.
The massing of the building reflects these two aims: a vertical ‘bar’ raises living units off street level, and a horizontal ‘arm’ contains the production spaces needed to process the crops and access to the street, creating a bustling streetscape of activity. A ‘green carpet’ connects the two by weaving through both the arm and bar and provides the majority of the growing surfaces.
Occupants stay at the hostel for at least 4 days and up to 2 years, and they receive benefits corresponding to level of established trust and behavior which is closely monitored. After 2 years, tenants are encouraged to move to other
The Herban Hostel is a serious attempt to suggest a solution to Skid Row’s growing poverty issues while respecting the culture that is already there. The hostel will become an economic resource as well as a shelter that focuses on the well-being of its inhabitants. Because the shelter is based in