Tiny homes for unhoused Angelenos, the struggle of meeting students’ emotional needs

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Artists painted the walls of houses in the Arroyo Seco Tiny Home Village. With 117 houses and 224 beds, this village is the biggest of its kind in the U.S., according to Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. Photo by Kerstin Zilm.

The Arroyo Seco Tiny Home Village has 177 separate sheds for each person or couple who used to live on the streets. “The locking door is probably the most important part of this shelter,” says Rowan Vansleve, president of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, which operates the village. “To a woman who has been a victim of violence on the street, that locking door can be the difference between her getting health and healing, and staying on the street.”

However, it’s not easy for everyone to adjust to a new life in the village, which comes with rules. 

Also, the LA Times analyzed data over the past year and a half of remote learning and found “deep drops in assessment scores or below grade-level standing in key areas of learning.” KCRW checks in with a third grade teacher and a high school history teacher.

“Now I have more students who are working than ever. … Their managers forget that they are high school students and schedule them for really, really tricky hours,” says Aviva Alvarez-Zakson, who at Hamilton High School in Castle Heights. “I have more students who are in charge of child care for their families than ever, more students reporting back just levels of exhaustion that I haven't seen before. It's hard to focus on things like college or graduating when we're trying to get through the day or the week.”