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.
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.)