Riverside Community Shelter Village

Riverside Community Shelter Village


Transitional Shelter in Riverside, California


In March 2020, 30 interim shelter units (60 beds total) in the City of Riverside, CA opened for people experiencing homelessness.


  • Action was taken to address the imminent threat to unsheltered population’s health and safety: “for the preservation of life, health, and property” (per City Council memo below).
  • City serves as a “regional shelter center” due to lack of shelters in neighboring cities
  • The lack of interim bed space capacity in the region: 439 people, only 180 beds (source).
  • Martin vs. Boise case – Forces community to build adequate shelter before enforcing anti-camping laws. Case review.

Mission: Pilot new, scalable way to shelter people experiencing homelessness in the City of Riverside.


Owner: City-owned land

Previous Use: Paved parking lot.

Use Arrangement: Master leased to operator via Emergency Housing Operations Agreement

Site Selection Criteria Considerations: Site was city-owned parking lot adjacent to the Hulen Homeless Service Campus, a one-stop multi-service campus of supportive services and emergency shelter facilities. See notes below for additional detail.

Site Selection Notes

Hulen Place is a ONE-STOP MULTI-SERVICE CAMPUS offering a centralized service environment to provide short-term emergency shelter along with a range of supportive services critical to assisting homeless individuals and families in addressing their issues and achieving housing stability. Since the adoption of the 2003 Riverside Community Broad-Based Homeless Action Plan, the City has pursued a long-term strategy to assemble properties at Hulen Place in a “campus-style” setting where a wide-range of service needs can be addressed in a coordinated delivery system that includes outreach, crisis intervention, interim housing, and “rapid re-housing” accompanied by supportive case management.




Upfront Development*$540k$300k site work (estimate) 

$240k for the shelter units. HHAP* funding directly to City of Riverside via State’s “The 13 Large Cities” allocations – see notes below

Cost Per Shelter*$18k
Operating Costs*$1.2 millionAllocated for one year of operations only. HHAP* funding directly to City of Riverside via State’s “The 13 Large Cities” allocations – see notes below
Cost Per Shelter*$40k/year$109/shelter/night or $55/bed/night (each shelter sleeps 1-2 persons)


Funding Notes

Funding Notes:

  • For upfront development costs and one-year of operations, the funding sourced from one place: HHAP – from State to City of Riverside
  • Given the lag in timing of funding, the City has fronted the cost, with guarantee of reimbursement from HHAP funding
  • For upfront development costs, CA State’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP): A 2018-enacted one-time $500 million block grant program created in 2018 to provide direct assistance to California’s homeless Continuums of Care (CoCs) and large cities to address the homelessness crisis throughout the state.
  • To finance on-going operations: CA State’s The Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP): A 2019-enacted $650 million one-time block grant that provides local jurisdictions with funds to support regional coordination and expand or develop local capacity to address their immediate homelessness challenges
  • Other sources: On March 18, 2019, the California Department of Housing and Community Development
    (HCD) released the Notice of Funding Availability for Funding Prioritization for California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program (CESH II or CESH Round 2). The County of Riverside CoC CESH
    Formula Allocations is $747,716. More info.


Lead Deal CoordinatorDownload Housing Innovation CollaborativeCity of Riverside
Construction ManagementGeneral Services Logo Housing Innovation CollaborativeCity of Riverside General Services Department
Shelter Vendor / ManufacturerPallet Logo Housing Innovation CollaborativePallet Shelter
On-Site Assembly Pallet Logo Housing Innovation CollaborativePallet Shelter


Design Notes


  • Units are 64 sf, less than the minimum unit size of 70 sf, which requires a conditional approval from HUD.
  • Sole source vendor required waiver in procurement process
  • Shelter manufacturer (Pallet) chosen by the City of Riverside
  • 85-day delivery made possible due to sole source vendor, low impact site work,  pre-approved shelter technology, ease of construction


Lead Operator:

Showimage Housing Innovation Collaborative

OperatorCityNet is a is a team of nonprofit professionals who work to end street-level homelessness in an area through the coordination of community efforts & activities. Based in Anaheim, California and Long Beach, California. 


Agreement1-year contract with City of Riverside – via a Temporary Emergency Housing Operation Agreement
  • 15 staff members for 30 shelter units (60 beds)
  • Shelter Manager
  • Program Supervisor
  • Logistic Coordinators
  • Case Managers
  • Security
  • Janitorial
  • Back-end Admin
Services ProvidedCase Management, Logistics, Operations
  • ~$109/shelter/night or $55/bed/night in operating costs
Operating Expenses
  • On-Site Personnel
  • Maintenance
  • Client Services, meals
  • FFE, materials, supplies
  • 10% indirect general expenses


Operation Notes


  • City Net is a nonprofit that has done work with Riverside in the past
  • Local preference policy at shelters, CityNet has some discretion on client admission