Skid Row is an unlikely place for innovation, but one builder is taking a new approach to housing the area’s chronically homeless. The hope is that through building a strong community in easily constructed apartments, people will be empowered to help themselves.

The new, 102 unit apartment building is actually a series of pre-fabricated apartment units that are stacked ontop of each other, similar to a child’s LEGO set. This method of constructing the apartment complex reduces construction time, and hopefully cost. The first apartment was lowered into place last week and construction should be complete in the middle of January.

But the building isn’t simply designed to be a square box with apartment cells, its design is designed to force residents to interact with one another and build a sense of community. Communal strength, it is hoped, will help chronically homeless lift themselves out of poverty.

Unlike other housing projects, this one will not require residents to move out when they have successfully recovered from the streets. Instead, they will have the option to remain for as long as they like, so long as they continue to pay 30 percent of their salaries in rent.

Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.