Cabins for homeless showcased in North Park housing expo


Gary Warth


San Diego Union Tribune

Publication Date: 

March 21, 2017
eeni Criscenzo with Amikas was in North Park demonstrating camping cabins that could be used for homeless people until they can get into a permanent housing situation.

Advocates of a proposal to create areas for homeless people to live in small houses rather than in tents on sidewalks are showcasing the idea at a North Park church this week.

“This frame can go up in two hours, “ said Jeeni Criscenzo, president of the nonprofit homeless advocacy group Amikas, as she stood next to a an unfinished wooden structure next to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in North Park.

“It’s not a luxury thing, but it’s not a tent.”

Amikas formed in 2010, and for more than a year Criscenzo and others in the group have been pushing for San Diego to allow homeless people to temporarily live in small houses instead of tents.

There are several hurdles to overcome, Criscenzo said. Among those, city ordinances prohibit them on public land, and building codes prohibit people from living in them on private property.

Regarding another obstacle, Criscenzo said she hopes to educate the public that the cabins are not a solution to homelessness, but rather a temporary, humane effort to help them until they can move into permanent housing.