Jeffrey M. Kalban & Associates Architects, Inc., a Los Angeles firm specializing in residential, educational, corporate office and hotel design, was awarded the prize for "special housing, good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource." The award also cited the design for enhancing the environment and the building's neighborhood.
An innovative and sophisticated structure completed in 2002 on a strict budget, the PATH Regional Homeless Center is the result of a major renovation of an abandoned 1960's, three-story office building and warehouse. The 40,000-square-foot Center now boasts a cheerful environment, vibrant airy spaces and colorful wallscapes, designed to help homeless navigate a mall-like atmosphere to access a diversity of services.
The lobby and main floor actuate a "shopping mall" concept, where storefronts for 20 social service agencies provide a welcoming setting for homeless clients in need of employment services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, a full-service beauty salon and a courtroom that hears misdemeanor cases.
The second and third floors consist of 98 residential units for homeless men, women and families, offering privacy and a sense of personal space, as well as nearby medical services. The building also serves as a hub for myriad community events.
"We are grateful for the AIA recognition," said Joel John Roberts, chief executive officer of PATH. "The project not only has expanded the framework for which social services are provided in the community, but also proves good design can make a world of difference in restoring dignity and hope in the lives of the homeless."
Each year PATH serves 4,500 homeless men, women and children in Los Angeles County, providing them with more than 17,000 service visits and the resources they need to find housing, employment and self-sufficiency.
Founded in 1984, PATH is a nonprofit community organization committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness by providing a full range of housing and support services that equip them with live-empowering tools.