Tiny Home Community for the Homeless

by Steven Kuchinsky

I am part of a team of people from Monmouth University building a program known as THRIVE (Towns for Healing and Rehabilitation in Interactive Village Ecologies.)

We are working to create an alternative for about 80 homeless people living in tents (Tent City, Lakewood). Unfortunately, they must soon leave and will only have a homeless shelter to go to for one year and then they are on their own with no facilities available.

tent city

We want to create a sustainable community where these people together can build micro-homes and learn to live in a holistic life style.

We want to partner with whatever appropriate, likeminded caring people/groups will support this endeavor, such as Habitat for Humanity, various school programs that initiate sustainable farming, Home Depot which teaches home maintenance, and finally proponents of tiny homes that would like to make a difference in the lives of these people.

What better way to empower homeless people than to give them the opportunity to build their own homes and build their own community!

To what extent would you like to be a part of this ranging from simple suggestions, sharing contacts, ongoing communication, educating, etc.?

Here is a website about Tent City, and here also is a slide show (video) that I created. As idyllic as it may look, it is very difficult in the winter and they will not be permitted to live in these tents much longer.
(The pile of wood chips shown in the slide show were placed there by the town to make it more difficult for people to donate food to the homeless people. The county has since enforced removal.)

57 Comments Tiny Home Community for the Homeless

  1. Walt Barrett

    I hate to say this, but the way our government is ignoring the plight of its own people and wasting billions of dollars in other countries we are going to see a great deal more of these tent cities and people in terrible situations in the future. The elderly, the poor and the Veterans are really taking it on the chin. My parents and my aunts and uncles had to live in tents in the 1930′s and it is no picnic. Americans do not deserve this kind of treatment. I wish the rest of America would wake up and make congress do something!

    Reply
    1. PAM

      I agree, and Im a disabled person that has been this way since 2005 and since we get the same amount every month and if we do get a increase its not much , yet food and rent cont to go up , how are we to live ???No one will give us a loan to buy a tiny home or a reg home for that matter because oh we dont work ….Its so sad and it makes me mad as hell .

      Reply
      1. michelle

        Dearest kind souls,
        I am also in the disabled “boat” and its thru catastrophic illness. Fortunately I worked all of my life from 16 to 45 and earned enough to be given an almost liveable disability pmt. monthly. I am definitely on board w/small sustainable living for asthetics,reduced carbon footprint, evening up the tremendous waste of resources in this country and the chokehold the govt. has on our growing numbers. Unfortunately once on disability with huge medical bills I recognize that I am trapped in this pattern. (sorry middle class now shouldering my financial burden)…Tiny housing works. each week as I see what determined, insightful folks are creating its the height of pleasant emails.We need representation in govt. But how? We need communing with nature, not destruction of habitat. How do we the poor get on top of those wealthy Dogs that want us erradicated? Pls. keep thinking and inspiring us.

        Regards~

        Michelle

        Reply
    2. sparky

      Why is this up to the Federal Government to solve? That’s exactly what leads to people living in these sorts of conditions – expecting the government to solve their problems – especially the Federal Government – instead of fixing it themselves.

      I see you point the finger at Congress and no mention of our dear leader. It’s a shame that people have to use a sad situation to push their political agenda.

      Why don’t you aim your anger at the town that is evicting these people? Seems to me that’s where the immediate problem rests.

      The issue at hand is helping the Rev solve these people’s problem. I wish I lived close by because I’d be more than willing to help where I could.

      Reply
      1. ginmar

        Silence is endorsement, so your idiocy needs to be objected to, at the very least. Blaming the President for the obstructionism of the Rapepublicans is the ultimate in hypocrisy. Where does one start? The debt ceiling debate, the Baggers, the Birthers, the sequester that even now is starving old people, the Rapepublican devotion to making Obama a one-term president….Where does one even begin?

        You should be ashamed of yourself.

        Reply
          1. Kenise

            Without adding to the political soup here, people need to realize that there is NO diference between the democrats and the republicans except to convince the serfs that they have a choice. Ginmar you sound very one sided and bigotted. The elite put obama into power to divide the races. The working American is in the same boast regardless of race. There are people whom at times need help. Always chidlren and the elderly. Obama’s been in office for 5 years now and done nothing accept help to diminish and dismantle the constitution (as did Bush with the patriot act).We’re still in the middle east, they’re trying to get into Iran and Syria and the government still sends monies to foreign countries even suppose enemies. The peons (that would be us) need to stick together no matter what ehtnicity. We are the cogs that make the machines work.

    3. Bob H

      How much more can the government do ? Its not a perfect system but it provides for many individuals, some should get more, some deserve less. Homelessness is a very serious subject and is very sad to think its an on going problem. But what did these people do their whole working career that they have nothing ? How many opportunities do they get to catch up ? For decades it been a very good economy. How about some individual responsibility for their situation. Work, work and more work is the only way up.

      Reply
      1. Katie

        Bob, I hope you never suffer catastrophic illness, and if you do, I hope others are more humane in their response than you are.

        Reply
        1. sdowens07

          Yes the government is to blame so is tom dick and harry sometimes people need to help themselves and stop relying on the government to get them what they need the reason there is so much debt isn’t only because we give give give it is also so many people that are in the system draining it and i am not talking about people disabled im talking about people that lie to get food stamps,medicaid,free housing cash assistance for so many years lifers since it began and people that are very well capable of earning and don’t just because of laziness and because they have been in the system for so long no nothing more than handouts.

          Reply
  2. Erik

    What about sanitation, building regulations, facilities? To be soft and fluffy and qualify it as “empowering homeless people” and looking to partner with “likeminded people” is great, but what’s to prevent such a development to become strewn with trash, sewage, burn barrels and shopping carts and moreover a hazard to the general community.

    Call me harsh and mean, but this is exactly why towns have enacted square footage restrictions and zoning bylaws.

    Reply
    1. Aldene

      I am old enough to remember when zoning restrictions first came in, and it had less to do with sanitation and housing standards than it did with keeping out the “riffraff.” Where I live many towns make it illegal to build on less than five acres, which effectively prevents people of modest means from building a home on a half-acre or acre. The towns didn’t want someone with five kids installing a trailer and costing the town money for education. Absolutely a class-based, discriminatory practice, and it was openly expressed.

      What exactly are people supposed to do if they end up homeless – just die so they can stop being an annoyance? They need to live somewhere. Where I live we’ve got people living in tents in the woods in the middle of winter, and the county seat forced one group of men to destroy a ramshackle building shelter they had built for themselves. They’re still there in the woods, they just don’t have a building to live in anymore.

      Reply
    2. ginmar

      You do realize that this piece is not an actual detailed proposal, right? That they’re not discussing specs but merely the concept?

      Reply
  3. John Woods

    Steven,

    If you haven’t already done so, you should look into the story of Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon. They accomplished something very similar to what you describe. http://www.dignityvillage.org/

    Their website does not have as much info as it used to, but you can also find a lot of images through a Google image search. You can also find articles about the facility with a search on Dignity Village and there is a Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignity_Village

    The site they used is a city owned parcel not far from the airport, which serves the public works department for the City of Portland. It isn’t the most scenic spot, but the location avoids potential conflict with neighboring property owners, which is something you will need to consider as you search for a site. https://www.google.com/maps?q=45.591464,-122.636297

    Reply
    1. John Woods

      In reference to Erik’s comment, he expresses a very valid and widely held concern. In the Dignity Village case, the site is monitored by the city and the residents have formed a type of neighborhood government that is similar to an HOA in a suburban development. Residents that don’t obey the standards of the village can be evicted and so the community is quite effective at self-policing.

      Reply
  4. John Woods

    Steven,

    Your post really has me thinking. I had an interesting experience in a small New Jersey town about five or six years ago. The issue of homelessness was growing as the housing bubble was beginning to burst; this happened just as a homeless man was found murdered in a vacant field. The town had not seen a murder in more than a decade. Up until that point, the town dealt with the situation the same way used by most suburban towns; the police would pick up the homeless and drive them to a shelter 30 miles away. Somehow they would always come back within a day or two. The nonprofit group I directed met with the local ministerium to discuss the issue. We decided to hold a series of meetings at local churches to invite the public to discuss the issue and develop a strategy to address the problem. We held three meetings, which were attended by almost 200 different people.

    An interesting thing happened. When the plight of each individual was discussed, the people attending the meeting realized that the unrecognizable people they saw on the street were people that they knew or with which they held connections and relationships. People set about anonymously fixing the problems for the people they knew. Someone heard that their music teacher from grade school was now retired and homeless. They provided an efficiency apartment and local store owners hired her to play music for the customers in their stores. Two run-away youth that were hiding out from an abusive situation at home were taken in by one of the ministers that operated a youth ministry. Another anonymous benefactor provided a safe place to camp for a veteran that suffered from PTSD and feared staying in buildings. Similar stories happened for many other homeless community members. With a little more stability, those individuals were able to find ways to earn a little money or to stabilize their lives.

    After the three meetings, nothing was decided about how to address the problem; the churches couldn’t do much more than offer temporary help. No one wanted to build a shelter. It didn’t matter though, because the homeless all found safer places to be without being forced to stay in a dangerous shelter 30 miles from home or being harassed because they didn’t have a place to go. The problem solved itself without setting up a new program and without the community passing off the problem to another community down the road that had a shelter attracting the homeless from the entire region.

    My takeaway is that it is important to put faces, names and stories on homelessness. When people know the story, they will find a way to help. It is much easier to help a person than it is to help a bum. Don’t let homelessness change people into some evil and dehumanized adjective. I wish I could take credit for the results, but the only thing I did was start a conversation with local ministers and the solution just happened through strong community spirit and charitable attitudes.

    Reply
    1. Ang

      in other words, there but by the Grace of God go I ;) People sometimes forget that it wouldn’t take much to lose it all. An unexpected illness can turn a person’s world completely upside down. A downsizing can snatch a secure job from your clutches. Appreciate what ya have folks. Thank your maker. Because tomorrow is never promised.

      Reply
    2. Monte

      John, you state: “My takeaway is that it is important to put faces, names and stories on homelessness. When people know the story, they will find a way to help. It is much easier to help a person than it is to help a bum. Don’t let homelessness change people into some evil and dehumanized adjective.”

      I very much agree with what you are saying. Beyond having brief interactions with homeless individuals as they have engaged with me while I was working in the neighborhood garden over the last seven years and then having two homeless men work for me for three days, my personal experience with the homeless is nil. I have, though, through many conversations with the director of a secular organization that administers to the homeless in the city where I live, come to understand that when speaking about the homeless and their plight it is most unwise to generalize. “The homeless” can’t really be viewed as being a group entity. Sure, there are pronounced similarities among the homeless, and knowing these similarities can be useful, but more importantly, is knowing and understanding that each individual is unique and has a history of circumstances and present circumstances that are peculiar to him/her. Therefore, generalization and rote behavior with regard to working with (helping, assisting) a homeless person is probably more than a little inadequate.

      We each have our story and, as I’m so fond of saying, “There is always more to the story and there is always an earlier beginning.” When ‘homeless’ becomes a generalized ‘umbrella’ term the individual stories are lost and it is easy for one or, for society as a whole, to become disassociated with the situation.

      Reply
  5. -billS

    There is already a system in place to help many, if not most, of the people in this situation. I have volunteered at homeless shelters in my area. They have a process to get people enrolled into the system. They get temporary housing at a shelter while they apply for public aid. Then they get food stamps and section 8 housing assistance and many get on Medicaid or Title 19 for medical and resources to obtain employment. The thing is, many do not want to abide by the rules or stick with the process. The tent villages here are more of a junk yard. They are disgusting. While the idea to help is admirable, it is difficult to embrace the idea of helping people that often, are not willing to help themselves. There is a national campaign advertising the food stamp program. There is money sitting that is not applied for. Media tries to tell us that it’s an education thing, that many people are not aware of the benefit/program. Seriously? Everyone knows about food stamps. Most of the homeless today would be the residents of sanitariums of the past. While society has helped to improve the dignity of humans, there has not been an effective replacement for the sanitarium. Nothing is life is free. You either have to work for it or get someone else to do the work. The media will show a person saying they cannot obtain work but will not look into the reason why. There is no single answer to this problem. We can build all the micro-communities we want but the real cost is maintaining them. Sure, people feel good about helping, companies get good press by donating materials and volunteers and there is a great photo op when built. But the real reason people are homeless will be the ultimate failure of the project. Mental illness and/or addiction. The place will end up like the junk yard tent villages unless you are willing to continually return to do the housekeeping. And when one resident burns their shelter down on a cold winter day, a slew of lawyers will swoop in the sue the city for not properly maintaining it. I don’t have the answer, but like so many, we think that throwing money and resources at something will improve it. That is not always the case.

    Reply
    1. PAM

      well in Tx section 8 has been closed for yrs and other programs to live in nice apts CLOSED . so what do the disabled people do ;????? Live in tents .
      when my son gets out of school and i no longer get c.s i may be there myself and im only 47 ..and i get 49.00 a month in f.s and they thing they feeds us for a month . really >my cabinets and fridge have been bare for months and the system doesnt care .esp if you are disabled etc .
      But when i see another race with nice clothes and nails and a nice phone and car using food stamps it makes me so sick ……this is so wrong .
      what is wrong with this country ????
      maybe i need to move out of tx ….
      I may just do that …

      Reply
      1. -billS

        are we to assume neither you or your son work? i moved out at 18 and got 3 part time jobs to make my bills. 7-11am stocking shelves at K-Mart, 12-3 at a retail store in the mall and 4-8pm washing dishes at a nursing home.

        Reply
        1. ginmar

          Aren’t you the model for us all. Bootstraps, bootstraps, bootstraps.

          You remind me of that arrogant white boy who decided to demonstrate that his attitude—so much like yours—toward the homeless was the truth, and so he set up a ‘study’ of sorts. He went to another city and posed as a homeless man, thereby using resources needed by actual homeless people. He had good health, backed up by years of good nutrition and medical care, plus the education his parents had paid for. None of the things, in short, that can lead to homelessness.

          He also had Mummy and Daddy’s platinum card in his back pocket for emergencies. Never mind that the lack of this kind of escape hatch is precisely what causes people to become homeless.

          Reply
      2. Julie

        Is it really necessary to bring race into it? It makes you sick when you see other races with nice things? THAT makes me sick. And sad. :(

        Reply
  6. John Woods

    I just found a better link for information about Dignity Village. There are some amazing thoughts and images posted. It is well worth wandering around the website to get a feeling for this community built by and for the homeless.

    http://inpursuitofhappiness.us/philosophers/contents/creating-dignity-village/dignity-vilalge-inc

    For the Tiny House crowd, it is worth noting that the shelters built in the community must fit within dimensions that can easily be moved. That applies to being able to move them with a forklift around the site or with a flatbed on the highway. They are all tiny homes.

    Reply
  7. John Woods

    It’s true that there are systems in place to shelter the homeless, but many of the solutions they offer are worse than being homeless in the eyes of many needy recipients. It isn’t for lack of good intentions, but sometimes the help offered is not the help needed. That’s the problem.

    Many of the chronically homeless in that small Jersey town were afraid of being beaten at the homeless shelter. The housing options that they were offered forced them to move away from their home place and away from their meager social network. To take advantage of food stamps, you often have to have a home address to receive mail or a phone to receive calls. Sometimes they have faced long term poverty and are no longer eligible for welfare. There is potential for tiny home communities to serve some that are not reached by current options.

    Let’s not be like a Dickens novel…

    “Are there no prisons? And the union workhouses – are they still in operation?” Ebenezer Scrooge

    Reply
    1. -billS

      Beaten at a homeless shelter? who is doing the beating? local townies that want to “clean up the town” or other homeless people? that’s what police are for. and if they aren’t responding to calls from staff who monitor them set up a 3rd party volunteer staff to make sure they are safe.

      Reply
      1. John Woods

        Yes, even the homeless fear other homeless people. The police can’t respond instantaneously, nor can they prevent every bad thing from happening. When police do respond, they can’t undo the harm that was done by an attacker. Rather than taking my word for the way many of the homeless feel about shelters, you can read the words of several at the following link.

        http://www.npr.org/2012/12/06/166666265/why-some-homeless-choose-the-streets-over-shelters

        The comments in the NPR transcript are very consistent with what I heard from both the homeless and social workers that were advocating for the homeless in New Jersey.

        Reply
      2. ginmar

        The police are always fair and never bigoted, nor make mistakes or have vicious compassionless opinions, of course.

        Reply
        1. -billS

          never said the police don’t make mistakes. My earlier post was it is difficult to help people that are unwilling to help themselves. Most homeless are not willing to follow the rules or do the work to get out of this terrible situation. So there is proof to that statement in that homeless are committing crimes against other homeless.

          Reply
          1. ginmar

            Most homeless? So you’ve met ‘most’ of them yourself? And of course your opinion is completely fair and logical.

          2. -billS

            so ginmar, you like to call a lot of people out here for having a view/opinion different than yours. you also bring race into it. i report on what i see first hand. you want to dig into your own pocket and help, be my guest. but don’t blame government and the rest of society for the situation many of these people are in. it’s mostly genetics and addiction. previous reports have homeless committing crimes on homeless. they have little regard for themselves and others in their same situation. give them a plot of land and a warm meal and they will turn it into a dump in no time. there is a system in place and they don’t want to participate and follow the rules. yes, bootstraps. the safety net has become a hammock to many. now fire aware, call me names, and get this thread shut down. typical

  8. Kim

    the lack of empathy and compassion by some here is distressing. Volunteering at a homeless shelter (if one takes that as true) does not make one an expert on the situation. Americans should have the right to a basic level of existence. It isn’t all drug addicts and mentally ill on the street these days, read the financial/economic news lately?

    Reply
      1. ginmar

        It’s not. You seem to be trotting out every myth there is—that homeless people don’t want help, they’re just shiftless, all you need is bootstraps, blah blah blah—-without any proof at all. And as someone who has several friends who were once homeless, I can tell you that your rosy picture of the programs available is not of an actual situation that exists.

        One of my best friends used to be homeless. A bad divorce, a serious illness, and she spent three years living in a homeless shelter. Untreated illnesses almost never get better. Hers, shockingly enough, did not improve. She’s just one of many.

        Reply
        1. -billS

          It’s true. But you can stick to your tactics by calling someone a liar that you know nothing about. Come to Des Moines Iowa and I will give you a tour of the shelters and tent villages here. I’ll even wear one of my t-shirts I got for volunteering. Sorry to hear about your friend. But I’m sure he/she got in that situation by making poor decisions. And I must ask, if they were such a good friend, why didn’t you take them in?

          Reply
    1. 2kids2cats

      My guess is you (Kim) don’t do a lot of volunteer work with the homeless. Like Bill, I do, and I feel almost exactly as he does.

      A substantial percentage of homeless are there by choice–rational or not. For those who wish to escape their lifestyle and the choices that got them there plenty of resources are available. Unfortunately too many either suffer from mental illness or addictions they don’t want help for and choose to live that lifestyle. Those people still deserve love and care, but they will never be helped by a tiny house in the woods.

      The chronically homeless are not folks caught in a bad situation. People who have worked hard and have fallen on rough times generally pull themselves back up rather quickly. Folks who stay down don’t do so from lack of resources. They do so because of mental illness they refuse treatment for, or because of addictions they refuse to end. My heart aches for children caught in this cycle, but without parental responsibility it will not end.

      Reply
      1. Cheryl

        Last summer I drove to Fl to visit my brother who is homeless by choice. It was very awkward at first and I visited only for short periods of time until we could get to know each other in this environment. For lunch I offered to take him any where he wanted to go and I would pay for it. He chose to eat at the gas station buffet right where we were. I gave him $20 before we went in so that he could treat me. The whole time I was there he never wanted to go more than a mile from where he lived which is only a few blocks from city hall close to a very upscale neighborhood. At one time he lived in and paid a small rent to live in an old warehouse with other guys who did the same. The owner did not pay the mortgage and the bank foreclosed forcing all these men out on the street. He found a “camp site” a short distance away and bought a tent which is where he has been living for about the past four years. The police leave them alone calling the guys in this area “The Houch boys” because they are all alcoholics and make their own juice to get drunk on but never get into other trouble. My brother makes more money than I do (at this time) doing construction work, two are veterans and another is supposedly a former guitarist for a famous rock band (who really knows?). There is more to this homelessness than we really know and I now have more questions than I had before. I first became interested in the “tiny house movement” because of him. Our Mother gave both of us “Deeks” triple-caffeinated version of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks….” (a must read!) however he is in a spot he can’t build and must keep to himself. We had a cook out at his camp and I understand why he would be reluctant to leave. The only way I know how to help him is to just let him know I love him warts and all.

        Reply
        1. -billS

          Great story Cheryl thanks for sharing such a personal experience. I am interested, as I’m sure you are, as to why he chooses to live this way. Does he yearn for a comfortable bed, warm shower and shelter during bad weather? Is it his addictions that keep him there? You also mention that he makes more money than you working construction. I would assume that is under the table, not paying taxes or social security and no health benefits. Hard to operate without an actual address. Living homeless by choice. Interesting info ginmar.

          Reply
  9. Heidi Rosello

    I totally love this. I am trying to figure out how to do the food side of this component…I have a passion to create the same solution for the people that need help…I would love to help anyway I can…I live in northen california. I believe that we need to build community mind set with people even before they are in tents. If we teach people how to grow, prepare, preserve home grown food and small animals such as rabbit, chicken, turkey, goat and graze them on the land the quaility of life could be much better..So how do we get the resources together to build these communities?

    Reply
  10. Cecile Lusby

    Look up Art Dyson, architecture professor training students at Fresno State to build sheds out of recycled materials. He has been trying to get an eco village built there for years and will have to wait for some donor to give up some land

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Alternative housing for the homeless: two examples. | Exopermaculture

  12. Sarah

    What can I do to help? I know nothing about these people’s lives, zoning laws, red tape, how it feels to be homeless and I don’t need to. I know very much about being a human being and my heart tells me to be kind. I think kindness is helping. How can I help you?

    Reply
    1. Ang

      start locally Sarah. Volunteer at your local food bank, the shelter, the red cross. You will find plenty of ways to help right on your own home turf.

      Reply
  13. Joe OConnor

    Good discussion here with lots of valid points. I own Zoe Cottages Manufacturing and have organized a small nonprofit that has developed both cottage models and a funding model to build cottages for the homeless . We have built and donated 2 cottages to Dignity Village in Portland, which is basically a conglomeration of shacks, but the community in its own quirky way seems to work.
    A team of 20 people can build a cottage in one day on the parking lot of a church or another location. Each volunteer is “sponsored” by 20 people for the day @ only $20, tax deductible. this creates enough funding for a fully self contained cottage with a full bathroom & kitchenette. Typically a 10′ x 20. It can then be moved by trailer to an RV park or similar campground.
    People are homeless for various reasons, some they can control & some they can’t. Many are prisoners to addictions and mental illness. BUT they still need help. With our new “Bright Hope Village” we will house homeless families & single moms with kids for up to a year while they are also counseled and mentored on issues of job development, lifestyle changes, financial stewardship.
    We are a faith based approach that seeks to extend the extravagant kindness of God into the lives of those that are hurting in this way. Your approach doesn’t have to be of course, but we want to take a holistic approach that address the whole picture. We have a fledgling website-
    Bright-hope.org
    Keep the discussion going!
    Joe OConnor

    Reply
    1. Monte

      Joe, I think what you’re doing is wonderful! I went to the Bright-Hope.org website and what a most tasteful website it is. On the ‘About Us’ page I particularly resonated with this message:

      “Our greatest fulfillment is to be able to see each person and family as unique and gifted, and to embrace a holistic approach that addresses some of the root causes as well as the symptoms of poverty and homelessness. Our faith based outreach, much revolving around the development of The Village of Hope, serves people of all races, creeds, and religions- no strings attached. We do not discriminate.”

      The way I see it Joe, any address to the homeless situation, in order to have any hopes of long-term viability, must be founded in a holistic mind set. Otherwise, it will most likely be temporary patch on the problem. And, as what was pointed out in the above quote…it is vital that each person can be viewed as the unique and gifted person they are.

      I very much look forward to following the progress and evolution of your program.

      Reply
  14. Mary Price

    Wonderful discussion and very inspiring (aside from the usual ignorant ones). I personally found a homeless man, depressed and drinking himself to death that wasn’t alcoholic and didn’t stay depressed when he got diagnosed properly. He was adult ADHD (with ignorant parents). Now, he works full time, has a girlfriend and functions just fine on a little corrective medication. He tells me that he rarely drinks anymore and never more than three beers.

    BTW, I hear that there are now more bank-owned houses in the US than there are homeless people. I doubt that even “Sparky” can blame that on the lazy, good-for-nothing homeless.

    I’d like to see a Village of Hope here in Spokane.

    Reply
  15. Thad Curtz

    There’s a project like this in Olympia, Washington that’s has land and is getting ready to start construction – http://quixotevillage.com/.

    (I know someone with considerable experience who says that the long term upkeep and maintenance costs of a lot of small houses will be considerably more expensive than the same number of small units in a single big building, though.)

    Reply
    1. Donnag

      ‘…the same number of small units in a single big building, though.)’. Those buildings for housing were called ” the projects” and they were an unmitigated disaster! The intentions were good, however, as the road to hell is so often paved, the results were far from ideal. In most major cities, the drugs, assaults and other crimes were so bad, most times police officers would not even respond. To me, this is one of the beauties of the tiny home. Everybody still has a stake in their own place, personal space as it were, somewhere to make it your own.

      Reply
  16. Otessa Regina Compton

    The Federal Government has never solved anything; besides as much as possible, people should live independently instead of sleeping on top of one another in shelters and breeding disease. Tiny Houses do make sense and produce incentives, the Federal Government has never done that, nor does it look like it ever will. LET US GIVE A CHEER AND A TERRIFIC HOORAY FOR TINY HOUSES AND THOSE THAT ARE INVOLVED IN THIS ENDEAVOR!!!

    Reply
  17. Susie

    Contrary to popular believe it is not the govt so much as it is the American people who refuse to support the American worker by constantly buying foreign made goods and loving Walmart. It is so easy to dump on the govt then it is to point fingers at ourselves.

    Reply
  18. renee shatanoff

    Walt, Pam Sparky, Ginmar, Bob, Erik, Aldene, John, Ang, Monte, Bill, Julie, Mike, Kim, 2Kids2Cats, Cheryl, Heide, Cecile, Sarah, Joe, Mary, Thad, Donnag, Otessa, Susie, and Shell….

    Let’s Brainstorm for solutions….

    1. Buy American
    2. Support local merchants to increase employment
    3. Mandatory mental health examination before receiving government benefits
    4. Public (and a social media campaign) for employers to hire people with disabilities
    5. Your turn

    Reply
  19. Lori

    i AM WITH Renee on this one. As a disabled person, physically, not mentally, I too feel quite useless and would like to contribute to my sustainability as I cannot afford to live even reasonably on my monthly disability. It would be wonderful if we could manifest the brainstorming, and come together as a people/nation to create an answer for this plight. I can only be physically active for about ten minutes before I am down for at least 20-30, although there are many needs I could meet being immobile but very conscious and educated. Needing a job badly that I can do from home, constantly looking and more often almost scammed. Never did I ever think I would be in this position, have lost everything including family, which saddens me the most. Just had to throw my couple cents I have left even though payday was yesterday,lol rarely do I ever post, but had to sitnext to Renee on this one.

    Reply
  20. Walt Kirk

    A major problem is the fact that local zoning laws make it impossible to create small homes for people. Zoning which would allow units as small as 200 square feet and co-housing would go a long way towards solving the homelessness problem.
    This isn’t a problem for the federal government, local laws must be changed.

    Reply
  21. Maryl

    Thank you, Steve, for helping these good folks out. God is blessing you and you are all in my prayers. <3

    Reply
  22. pat

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all HOMELESS PEOPLE hada place to call HOME.Shame a bunch of buses full of people don’t camp outside the governors office when he is actually there and demand NJ GOVERNOR to help these people especially the HOMELESS VETS who put theirlives on the line for our freedom.So many empty and abandoned houses just rotting away

    Reply

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