Letter to Garcetti about Shipping Container Homes

Mr. Mayor:

Thank you for finally doing something to help house the homeless people around the Plaza. It’s gone out of control, with rents rising, and whatnot. People don’t think it’s a big deal to live out of a tent or their car, anymore. That’s where we’re at, as a city and country, and I find that sad.

People have been complaining about the cost for the trailers at Main St. I’m not one of them, but I did have an idea that would be popular with some young people.

Living in Repurposed Shipping Containers

Personally, I’m not into the idea of living in containers. I only see a lot of headaches, and think it can be cheaper, in the long term, to just build regular apartments, if the process were made smoother. But I’m just one person. The masses of people think container living is trendy. The idea of small housing for under $20k per unit has wide appeal.

Container living is attracting interest on Google. Searches for “shipping container home” have increased from 2004 to 2014, plateauing since then.

There’s considerable creative labor going into making shipping container homes. It’s all very experimental, and I bet it isn’t up to building codes, if any such codes exist. There is risk involved, as with any novel activity, but what is life without risk?  The homeless risk contracting MRSA and getting beat up, daily.

It seems to me that this effort to house the homeless could be an opportunity to tap into this experimental energy, and to bring people together to try creating new, experimental forms of housing, by giving some people a shipping container home.


John Kawakami, a random guy on the internet







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