During the next few weeks, 24 people who have been living in makeshift shelters will move into sturdy domes as participants in a pilot project to provide safer and more comfortable transitional quarters for the homeless.
The 18 white domes, fiberglass panels bolted together to form 20-by-12-foot shells, will be set up at 9th Street and Golden Avenue, just west of a Harbor Freeway on-ramp.
Most of the participants in the project, funded with a $250,000 contribution from Arco, have been living at or around the vacant lot in homemade shelters, said activist Ted Hayes, founder of Justiceville/Homeless U.S.A. and the driving force behind the project.
"This is the first step in a long journey," Hayes said. "The goal is not to accommodate homelessness and poverty but to actually stop it. . . . This will be a transitional community designed to stabilize the homeless population."
Hayes said participants will be referred to social and health services for help finding jobs, regaining their health and securing long-term housing. Security and daily chores around the site will be handled by the residents, he said.
The site is being leased for one year, after which the domes will be dismantled and removed, said David Adams, president of Morgan Adams Inc., a management company that worked with Hayes to set up the project. If it is successful, other temporary domed villages could be set up at other sites with the cooperation of the city, businesses and nonprofit organizations, Adams said.
The project has received operating permits from the city and the support of several city officials, including Mayor Richard Riordan and City Councilwoman Rita Walters, whose district includes the project site.
The domes, designed by architect Craig Chamberlain, provide living quarters with access to washing machines, stoves, toilets, showers and a telephone. Residents will manage the site, and those with incomes will pay some rent.
Information: (213) 353-1400.