The DOME is a modular, unitized system specifically designed for interim and emergency housing. It combines all the essential furnishings commonly found in these facilities, including: a bed with room for storage underneath, a lockable wardrobe, partitions, access to an outlet, and an optional fabric canopy to enclose the DOME for additional privacy and safety. Within the DOME module, there is room to stand, sit, move and place a medium-sized kennel that accommodates up to a 30-pound pet.
There was no product on the market that we found that was intentionally designed for interim housing that addressed all these challenges while providing a dignified, comfortable and safe space for a homeless neighbor.
The City of Los Angeles plans to create 1,500 new beds by July 2020. In addition to some of the existing beds that need to be replaced, the need and urgency for new beds asks for a furniture system that can be built and delivered rapidly and be cost effective while addressing the needs of the guests and the facilities.
The 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count puts the number of sheltered homeless at 21,631—a little more than one for every four of LA County's 58,936 estimated homeless population. We believe that any problem that is experienced by nearly 60,000 people is a complex issue that requires an “all of the above” approach. There is no silver bullet to a condition that involves so many, in a place as multi-cultural, multi-national and multi-lingual as Los Angeles.
Through our research and efforts, we found that interim housing programs often rely on furniture designed for higher education and detention facilities. Sleeping units were commonly furnished with a bed and lockable storage and depending on space and budget may include a desk and chair, partitions for privacy/safety, and access to an outlet for charging an electronic device or a reading light. Every facility we visited had a different approach for deciding bed heights, partition heights, combating bed bugs, maintenance, privacy, safety, storage, lighting, and space for couples.
How does it work?
Each individual DOME unit requires two wardrobe ends that are anchored by an extra-long twin bed in between. The wardrobe unit is 6-feet, 2-inches wide by 6-feet high with a 2-foot depth.
The DOME collapses to a tiny footprint for efficient storage and shipping, bringing initial installation costs down. Operators have flexibility to add or remove additional units in times of surge as needed. All components are contained within a single unit without loose elements that can get lost in storage.