A Progressive Solution to Homelessness

Safe and Affordable Shelter

Private accomodations for up to 125 people, 24/7 security, and a positive learning environment for healing and growth.

A Modern Vocational School

Comprehensive workforce and personal development classes from computer programming to life coaching.

A Reliable On-Demand Workforce

All residents are clean, sober, and highly employable. We do not accomodate individuals with severe mental illness or addiction.

Rebuilding the American Dream

Transition Centers provide temporary shelter, work training, and counseling services for up to 6 months for people transitioning through major life changes. They are the perfect solution for helping the homeless or anyone else stuck in poverty, who feels the American dream has passed them by.

In return for free housing, center residents work temporarily on community service projects, as well as, neighborhood watch, and street cleaning programs. Because public safety and wellness is our top priority, we only take in residents who are drug-free, have no history of mental illness, and who are determined to working their way out of the difficult situation they're in. We estimate this makes up 40% of the homeless population.

Transition Centers are just a concept right now, so we need your help in making them a reality! We're currently looking for land in San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Venice, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, or New York to launch our pilot.



Dome Sweet Dome

Using easy to set-up dome structures, we are able to shelter people in an low-cost, easily scalable, and respectful way.

  • 10 Polypropylene panels
  • 2 hr set-up time
  • Temperature controlled
  • Water and wind resistant
  • Solar powered w/ outlets
  • Lockable
  • Cost: $599

  • Affordable

    Transition Centers are 90% cheaper than homeless shelters and offer a best environment for people looking to get back control of their life. Nothing else even comes close.

    Scalable

    Transition Centers can be placed temporarily anywhere there is unused land, such as parking lots, under bridges, land awaiting development, and land owned by churches and cities.

    Realistic

    We utilize unused land, offers tax incentives to land owners, and improve neighborhoods through various community service projects, which residents crowdfund and complete.

    My Story

    A year ago, I was crucified by the media for venting my displeasure with the state of homelessness in San Francisco. I was insensitive with my words, but I wasn't wrong that our system fails to address the needs of the community. With little faith in things improving, I took it upon myself to spend the last year researching homelessness, so I could create new solutions to improve things around America.

    Transition Centers are the brainchild of that journey -- bringing together insights learned from sleeping in homeless encampments, a year's worth of research, hundreds of conversations with homeless individuals, and listening to the concerns of the community, who do not want homeless shelters nearby.

    Along with myself, I've gained a lot of great friends and advisors along the way who are equally as passionate about ending homelessness in America. We hope you'll join us for the ride.

    THE TEAM



    FAQs

    Currently, there is a lack of good options for people who become homeless. Homeless individuals can either choose shelters or the streets --both are poor environments for anyone who wants to regain a stable job and housing. On top of that, it takes weeks before shelter beds open up.

    Inside shelters, everyone is mixed together -- whether you are drug free, suffering from substance abuse, disabled, mentally ill, you name it. It's basically a holding pen with a lack of privacy, safety, and no sense of community. Everyone in there has different goals, challenges, and the reality is that shelters are ill-equipped to truly help people.

    What's missing is a place dedicated for people ready to get back on their feet and start working again. That's what Transition Centers are for.
    To open a center, your community will need three things: Community Support, Funding ($200k), and land. Once you have all three, a transition center can be built or taken down in under 30 days.
    This is a perfect solution for families, but we won't be taking them into the pilot project. The reason being, you either start a Transition Center specifically for families or one specifically for non-families. Having children on the facility changes a couple things.
    The domes we are using come in different sizes and can be scaled up to be family sized, however the pilot models we are using hold a maximum of 2 people.
    For now, our plan is to launch the pilot somewhere simple and scale up habitat solutions from there. Most of the largest homeless populations (other than NYC) have favorable weather. Maybe this is a solution strictly for those places. California alone represents 25% of homelessness and this would work perfectly all around the state.
    Each Transition Center needs to have a backup plan for what to do in case of an emergency and where to send people who are evicted from the Center. Like most things, it's not that complicated, just something to plan ahead for.
    When residents apply, we have them take a standard drug test, fill out a simple questionnaire, and meet with one of our application managers to make sure it's a good fit. If someone has more problems than they admit to, it usually becomes clear quite quickly. There is no ongoing drug testing, but people can be asked to take a test at anytime if there are reports of a major disturbance or complaints from other residents.For the integrity of the camp and what we mean to the neighborhood, it's essential that we take a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol at all times.
    The center is managed through a combination of our team and residents who take up critical job functions around the facility. Residents are elected into power at weekly meetings and are paid a stipend for their work.
    There are over a dozen similar homeless villages around the US, but nothing exactly like Transition Centers. This will be the first facility built for the purpose of helping people heal, learn new skills, and transition back into the world.
    Community Transition Centers are extremely affordable, costing around $200,000 to build a full center for 125 people. Because our structures are temporary and movable, we are able to avoid a lot of major building costs and regulations, which typically make caring for the homeless unaffordable.

    It's around $250/mo per person to run a transition center. Our goal is to get centers running at a zero cost basis by asking residents to pay rent on a sliding scale. Those who can't afford it ($250/month) will be asked to contribute to community service projects or work in one of the mulitple programs we plan to have on site.
    Transition Centers want to be a healthy and happy learning environment for everyone - for its residents and its neighbors. Therefore, Transition Centers are drug and alcohol-free zones and residents are required to follow a set of mutually agreed upon standards of behaviors that does not tolerate disruptive behavior, violence or discrimination of any type.

    For our pilot program, we will not be taking in homeless individuals suffering from substance abuse or severe mental illness (roughly 50% of the homeless population). Until better solutions are made, we believe traditional shelters and respite centers are better prepared for this group.
    Right now, our top locations for the pilot include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, or New York. As our team is based in San Francisco, most of our efforts have revolved around exploring unused land in the Mission Bay / Dogpatch region. Most of the land below is unused, awaiting development, and will not be touched for some time.

    Transition Centers SF

    Wanna Learn More?

    2015 A Better San Francisco | greg@abettersf.org | @StartupGreg