Watching the cargo ships with colorful, steel shipping containers stacked high on these vessels in the San Francisco Bay, distracted me from my episodic memoir as I stared from my Sausalito studio. I was curious to know from what part of the world they had left and where were they going. What an interesting life.
They must have a history?
Months later by the Oakland port, there they were again. Only this time they sadly sat stacked three and four high, with no purpose—a shipping container graveyard.
Having experienced evacuation during the Malibu fire and its disastrous results leaving families in need of immediate, inexpensive temporary housing, the idea to match the two sent me to Google. There were shipping container houses being used in places like Australia, New Zealand, Germany and France. The idea is not new.
But putting the two together and making it work is. Then I met Charlie.
Our core mission is to design and make a pre-assembled, inexpensive, temporary home for all those who find themselves without a home. Whether if be from fire, floods, hurricanes or in some unfortunate life's position, this simple, but well constructed home can provide just such a roof over their heads.
Our team is dedicated to transforming the despair of those persons without a home for any reason. Although the homes are designed for temporary situations. it is important to note that having a home, no matter how small or simple helps to create a purposeful life of confidence, self-respect and happiness, which will positively affect families, communities and society.
DASH HOUSING aims not to solve the problem, but to offer one tool...a home.
WHAT IS A "DASH" HOUSE?
DASH—Disaster Area Steel Housing—has designed a pre-assembled home from recycled shipping containers, that is permitted by the State of California and meets most local and city codes.
DASH Homes are pre-fabricated homes, made from recycled steel shipping containers. Once delivered these homes require no foundation, are ready for immediate occupancy with only a minimum of local skilled labor for power, water and sewer hook-ups. No labor is needed for the off-grid solar powered units.
DASH will set up delivery of the unit to be transported via truck to the site. The unit is designed to sit on level packed ground. Depending on the location, and hook-up connections a slab or raised piers might be preferred. There are times when the location is behind an existing structure. In this case, it is possible for a crane to lift the unit over the existing building.
DASH Homes, once set on solid level ground, require little to no construction. The homes are code required insulated, painted and finished, have a kitchenette and real bathroom with shower, as well as a living space offering an immediate completely livable home.
DASH Homes are perfect alternatives for homeless housing solutions. The off-grid units require no public utilities, and can be easily maintained. Small city lots, edges of unused parkland, parking lots can provide the site. DASH provides the homes.
"POP-UP HOUSING" for the homeless.
Our team can work with city councils to provide temporary housing. The designs can be made to work with individuals with special needs. These homes are designed for immediate occupancy, with interiors and exterior designs for easy maintenance while at the same time offering an uplifting, comfortable, hygienic and private space.
DASH Houses aim not to solve problems, but it can eliminate one part of the problem by offering one tool--a home--removing the label of being homeless. Removing this stigma encourages a return to the outside world and being successful.
The DASH VILLAGE is designed after the California bungalow court—tiny private homes sharing a common yard and amenities offering both privacy and fresh air. The idea of having your own private home was very much part of the American Dream in the early 1920s, and the bungalow court gave you that. Like our cluster village you can walk outside and have flowering plants, and a shared neighborhood feeling instantaneously.
The Village combines the best of private and public, because you have your own unit, and then you have a small amount of semi-private outdoor space. A public shared space in the interior courtyard, which provides space for a garden, and a larger community area in the middle of all the clusters to play ball, picnic or have a larger community garden
Container homes build in bungalow style clusters provides individual and family housing--an affordable, quality solution for the homeless housing shortage.
Today, roughly only 350 bungalow courts survive in L.A., but the sense of community and camaraderie among residents has made them one of the city’s most beloved and desirable styles of housing—one that should be revived for the homeless and low-income population.
DASH Houses can design a plan for empty lots creating a village where none existed before. A village with a Medical Clinic, Community Center and Educational Unit allows social services to have easy access to personal needs. THE VILLAGE creates a warm, friendly atmosphere.
Stable housing not only provides privacy and safety, it is also a place to rest and recuperate from illness, and other ailments without worry about where to sleep and find a meal, or how to balance these needs with obtaining health care and social services. The best, most coordinated medical services are not very effective if the patient’s health is continually compromised by street and shelter conditions. Even inpatient hospitalization or residential drug treatment and mental health care do not have lasting impacts if a client has to return to the streets or shelters upon discharge.
DASH HOUSING has partnered with the provider of affordable and transitional housing, FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY LIFE a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and is open to partnering with other non-profits that are dedicated to help solve the homeless needs.
Land values are high in many areas. Our village accommodates additional housing needs by stacking one container home on top of another. This allows for more homes on the same parcel. This offers the opportunity for cities that have smaller parcels to have a homeless village. See the concept below which can be mixed with one story homes or used in such tight housing areas.
THE HIGH DENSITY VILLAGE
As vacant land is difficult to find in our inner cities, and building new structures for the homeless and low-income population becomes an enormous challenge. How do you avoid that unfriendly tower of unit on top of unit. Where is there any sense of private outdoor space, or even a Community Center? A spot of green life?
DASH HOUSING has a high-density concept in the planning stages to meet such a need. To keep the village atmosphere, it is designed to be in clusters with a community green space—soccer field, playground, basketball court and dog park. Within the clusters would be a Laundromat, bike shop, café, mini-market, rediscovered clothing shop, a large Community Center and a Medical Center.
Each cluster would provide homes for some 50-90 individuals and families. A complete village could house up to 400 homeless.
The beauty of such a village, and one of the wonders of such construction is that this village could be completed in 3 to 5 months and ready for occupancy.
HIGH DENSITY CLUSTERS
HIGH DENSITY VILLAGE CLUSTER can house as many as 72 people in one cluster of four stories. Walkways and stairs are generous to allow passage to seem like a walk and not a climb. Roof garden and sun decks provide private outdoor spaces.
Each cluster has a mix of 20' homes for individuals/couples and 40' homes for families. The bottom floor has a Medical Clinic, Community Center, Laundromat, café, mini-market, gym, dog kennel and othershops as needed by the residents.
HIGH DENSITY CLUSTERS are a perfect solution for low-income housing. Depending of the size of the parcel, clusters of stacked homes provide fast and comfortable housing for low-income individuals and families.
The bottom floor of each cluster has retail shops and stores – café, mini- market, pizza restaurant, bakery, etc.
Four and five clusters around a green space provide not only indoor living, but outdoor community recreational centers. Such area provides a large green space for baseball, a playground, outdoor gym, basketball court, dog run, picnic area and a community garden.
A cluster village to house 120 units could be build in three to five months. This is a great advantage over typical construction methods.
DASH Housing designer and architect can create plans for container homes to be enlarged by placement side-by-side, U shaped or stacked, and designed to meet special handicap needs.
MEDICAL RX REFRIGERATED STORAGE
FIRE RELIEF STATIONS
SHELTER RELIEF STATIONS
STORAGE UNIT FOR SUPPLIES
DASH HOUSES CAN BE RECYCLED
DASH units are simple—bare bones—designed as temporary housing, but can easily become individualized by the owner just like a typical home.
Wood shingles, cedar siding, and paint colors are only a small list of ways you can totally change the way it looks. Awnings, decks, window boxes, fireplaces with exterior chimney add a homey and warm feeling.
DASH designs not need to be boxy. Stacking, side-by-side units and U-shaped homes have appealing elements. A peeked roof can change the look. A popular addition is the roof deck. And don't forget landscaping. As long as the integrity of the waterproofing and structure are not changed or damaged, there are many ways to make your house unique. Check with local codes as to stacking and exterior stairs and any other modification, as building codes are for your safety.
These homes are a great alternative, reasonably priced, and can later be recycled again for other purposes as a guesthouse or working studio. Depending on local codes, even an Additional Dwelling Unit can be a recycled shipping container.
DASH Homes can be transported by truck or rail and moved to another location for a second life as a mountain cabin, beach hut and even a tree house.
BASIC UNIT comes with electrical, water and waste hook-ups for those areas where such local community utilities are immediately available. Enhanced ventilation is also standard.
OFF-GRID UNIT is available to areas that have lost access to power, water and waste facilities, or where they are only partially available. These units come with added: solar power and battery storage, 500 gallon water tank and a 150 gallon waste holding tank. Propane gas is used for the heating and cooking. Please note, that OFF–GRID units also have electrical panels and plumbing connections that can be hooked-up to community facilities at another date when such facilities are made available.
OFF-GRID UNITS are also available with a wind powered energy source and battery storage, rainwater harvesting, gray water reclamation and wind turbine ventilation meeting a high level of green building standards.
DO YOU NEED A LOCAL CONTRACTOR?
Hook-up to community grids for power, water, and sewer, are done on site by local contractors.
Off-grid units need no skilled labor…just add water.
DASH HOUSING LLC, recommends that all buyers check with their local building departments for any code requirements unique to their area, like set-back restrictions, height limitations, easements. In many disaster areas local codes are relaxed until your home is rebuilt.
DASH HOME SIZES
20' long 8'w x 9'6"h
40' long 8'w x 9'6"h
Both units come with metal windows, 6' sliding door, kitchenette and bathroom. (see floor plans).
Based on current fabrication costs* and the fact that each home design is unique to the owner our price per container basic home with DASH quality interiors and fixtures start at:
20' BASIC $ 45,000
20' OFF-GRID $ 55,000
40' BASIC $ 52,000
40' OFF-GRID $ 62,000
* site preparation, permits, delivery, installation and taxes not included
* additional windows, fixtures, flooring choice, lighting fixtures, etc., to make your home the way you want it are extra
* custom stacked homes and other unique features with architect designs have additional costs
* DASH VILLAGE is priced per village plan and DASH can do a purchase lease over a 7 year term.
DASH Housing can be transported anywhere in the world…well, almost anywhere. Not so sure about the top of Mt. Everest!
However, additional containers may be purchased to meet additional needs. For example, a 40' container could have a 20' side-by-side unit as an addition bedroom. Owner designed units are available. Our design staff can offer suggestions.
Additional units can be ordered without kitchenette.
Additional units can be order with bath or without.
DASH HOUSING, LLC is an owned and managed women's business.
Copyright 2019. US Patent Pending
NEWS from Gov. Newsom
Homelessness & Health: What’s the Connection? *
FACT SHEET February 2019: NATIONAL HEALTH CARE for the HOMELESS COUNCIL
Homelessness can take many forms, with people living on the streets, in encampments or shelters, in transitional housing programs, or doubled up with family and friends. While the federal government reports 1.5 million people a year experience homelessness, other estimates find up to twice this number of people are actually without housing in any given year. The connection between housing and homelessness is generally intuitive, but the strong link between health and homelessness is often overlooked. This fact sheet outlines how health and homelessness are intertwined—and why housing is health care.
Poor heath is a major cause of homelessness
An injury or illness can start out as a health condition, but quickly lead to an employment problem due to missing too much time from work; exhausting sick leave; and/or not being able to maintain a regular schedule or perform work functions. This is especially true for physically demanding jobs such as construction, manufacturing, and other labor-intensive industries. The loss of employment due to poor health then becomes a vicious cycle: without funds to pay for health care (treatment, medications, surgery, etc.), one cannot heal to work again, and if one remains ill, it is difficult to regain employment. Without income from work, an injury or illness quickly becomes a housing problem. In these situations, any available savings are quickly exhausted, and relying on friends and family for assistance to help maintain rent/mortgage payments, food, medical care, and other basic needs can be short-lived. Once these personal safety nets are exhausted, there are usually very few options available to help with health care or housing. Ultimately, poor health can lead to unemployment, poverty, and homelessness.
Simply being without a home is a dangerous health condition.
Homelessness creates new health problems and exacerbates existing ones
Living on the street or in crowded homeless shelters is extremely stressful and made worse by being exposed to communicable disease (e.g. TB, respiratory illnesses, flu, hepatitis, etc.), violence, malnutrition, and harmful weather exposure. Chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma become worse because there is no safe place to store medications properly. Maintaining a healthy diet is difficult in soup kitchens and shelters as the meals are usually high in salt, sugars, and starch (making for cheap, filling meals but lacking nutritional content). Behavioral health issues such as depression, alcoholism, or other substance use disorders can develop and/or are made worse in such difficult situations, especially if there is no solution in sight. Injuries that result from violence or accidents do not heal properly because bathing, keeping bandages clean, and getting proper rest and recuperation isn’t possible on the street or in shelters. Minor issues such as cuts or common colds easily develop into - National Health Care for the Homeless Council
People who are homeless have higher rates of illness and die on average 12 years sooner than the general U.S. population.
larger problems such as infections or pneumonia. Numerous health conditions among people who are homeless are frequently a complex mix of serious physical, mental health, substance use, and social problems. Poor health, high stress, unhealthy and dangerous environments, and an inability to control food intake often result in frequent visits to emergency rooms and hospitalizations.
Recovery and healing are more difficult without housing
Stable housing not only provides privacy and safety, it is also a place to rest and recuperate from surgery, illness, and other ailments without worry about where to sleep and find a meal, or how to balance these needs with obtaining health care and social services. The best, most coordinated medical services are not very effective if the patient’s health is continually compromised by street and shelter conditions. Even inpatient hospitalization or residential drug treatment and mental health care do not have lasting impacts if a client has to return to the streets or shelters upon discharge.
The Solution: Housing is Health Care*
Housing and health care work best together and are essential to preventing and ending homelessness. Health care services are more effective when a patient is stably housed, and in turn, maintaining housing is more likely if proper health care services are delivered. While there are many factors that influence health, stable housing is a key “social determinant of health” that directly impacts health outcomes. While some need only short-term assistance to regain health and reconnect to employment and housing on their own, others may be so seriously ill and/or disabled they will need longer-term support services in order to maintain housing. Either way, housing is necessary to realize a healthier society. Communities that invest in affordable housing incur lower public costs, achieve better health outcomes, and work to prevent and end homelessness.
What is the relationship between health, housing, and homelessness? *
Poor health (illness, injury and/or disability) can cause homelessness when people have insufficient income to afford housing. This may be the result of being unable to work or becoming bankrupted by medical bills.
Living on the street or in homeless shelters exacerbates existing health problems and causes new ones. Chronic diseases, such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, mental health problems and other ongoing conditions, are difficult to manage under stressful circumstances and may worsen. Acute problems such as infections, injuries, and pneumonia are difficult to heal when there is no place to rest and recuperate.
Living on the street or in shelters also brings the risk of communicable disease (such as STDs or TB) and violence (physical, sexual, and mental) because of crowded living conditions and the lack of privacy or security. Medications to manage health conditions are often stolen, lost, or compromised due to rain, heat, or other factors.
When people have stable housing, they no longer need to prioritize finding a place to sleep each night and can spend more time managing their health, making time for doctors’ appointments, and adhering to medical advice and directions. Housing also decreases the risk associated with further disease and violence. In many ways, housing itself can be considered a form of health care because it prevents new conditions from developing and existing conditions from worsening. Learn more in Homelessness & Health: What’s the Connection?
Are there different types of homelessness? *
Yes, there are groups of people who experience homelessness in different ways, but all homelessness is characterized by extreme poverty coupled with a lack of stable housing. Children on their own or with their families, single adults, seniors, LGBTQ+ people, people of color, and veterans compose various demographic groups that may use different types of programs or services or have differing factors that contribute to their homelessness. There are also those who experience homelessness for various lengths of time (short-term, long-term, or “chronic”) or who experience multiple episodes of homelessness (refer to the previous FAQ regarding the definition of homelessness). Those who are “doubled up” or “couch surfing” may also be considered homeless for eligibility for different services. While demographic differences or varying lengths in the experience of homelessness often provide important background for service providers (both to adapt their practice and to help enroll them in specialized programs), there is a danger in focusing on subpopulations in that resources are reserved until people become the most desperate, creating a “race to the bottom.” Nothing but stable housing fundamentally differentiates those who experience homelessness and those who don’t, and all people deserve the human right to housing.
*NATIONAL HEALTH CARE for the HOMELESS COUNCIL