A member of Stu Segall Productions television and movie studio is championing an innovative, affordable long-term housing solution for San Diego homeless families.
An SDSU and La Jolla High grad who grew up in La Jolla and remains active in the community, Cory Segall is now involved in exploring new avenues to pursue re-purposing Segall Production’s products and services.
With the introduction of Strategic Habitats, a rehabilitative housing project, Segall is converting 40-foot-long shipping containers, previously created as training facilities at military bases, into highly serviceable, relatively inexpensive homeless housing.
“With our 18 years of experience in renovating shipping containers, we wanted to do something to help the homeless,” said Segall, who also works for Compass Real Estate in the residential market. “It’s 30 to 40 percent cheaper and much faster, to convert shipping containers than to build new construction at a cost ranging from $400,000 to $600,000. We’ve had quite a few people, including different city council members, coming through to see our existing duplex container site in Kearny Mesa.”
Added Segall, “We’ve done tens of thousands of these shipping containers all over the country and the world. We know exactly what to do in building these faster, better, cheaper, and to have people live in them.”
Segall noted Strategic Habitats has also been working with local churches, and the Alpha Project providing homeless job training, to find new homes for their cutting-edge, converted containers.
Addressing the amenities of container homes, Segall said, “They are retrofitted for electrical and plumbing, and best of all they’re movable, not permanent structures, which the City likes. We just are excited to start going with this.”
Strategic Habitats containers are also air-conditioned and heated. Their all-electric kitchens come with fully equipped double-burner stoves, microwaves, and refrigerator/freezers. Their fully furnished bedrooms can comfortably sleep two adults and two children with multiple storage options for the whole family. Horizontal and vertical configurations of the homes can be easily assembled into safe, secure family habitats with minimal site prep.
“Strategic Habitats are larger than hotel rooms, which recently have been converted to homeless housing,” said Kit Lavell, the company’s strategic operations executive vice president. “Additionally, Strategic Habitats are much quicker to complete over new construction and the units can easily be assembled in a variety of configurations and placed on parking lots or any open property.”
Lavell noted there are about 8,000 homeless in San Diego County, the fourth highest in the nation, with more than half living on the street and the rest in shelters.
“We see our Strategic Habitats as distinctive or essential and special environments that are material for life and growth,” Lavell said. “They can be an essential solution to help homeless individuals and families re-enter society with dignity in a distinctive safe and special environment.”