How To Explain Tiny Houses To The Ones Who Matter

The most genuine moments; the moments that really help you define who you are and what you believe in, seem to happen in the most random and unplanned ways.

A few days ago I was reading Tiny House Blog when I saw that the post of the day was the Tiny House Podcast I was on (episode 78) when I was stopped by the description:

If you have ever wondered if Andrew has a serious side, if he thinks more deeply than he laughs, if he tires of talking about tiny houses after 8 years of living intentionally, if he accepts anyone’s opinion but his own, or if his future includes a soap box; you’ll want to tune in this week to hear the somewhat somber side of this funny guy. After overhearing him sadly comment on the homeless crisis in America, and after reading his chapter in Turning Tiny, we wanted to hear more. We wanted to hear his take on this complex issue. What really IS the problem that is causing the homeless epidemic in America? Are tiny houses the answer? How can we advocate for tiny houses as a tool to help the homeless while not devaluing them at the same time? If you think that we should be building tiny houses instead of walls to solve our societal problems, tune in this week. And, if you don’t learn anything at all, we know you will come away with a newfound appreciation for Andrew and his contribution to the tiny house movement that really isn’t going anywhere….(pun intended)

At first I just read right through it as I have grown accustomed to reading about myself or seeing descriptions of me, etc. But then I was stopped by the line “After overhearing him sadly comment on…”. Really? I was sadly commenting on something? But wait! I don’t get sad. Drew doesn’t get sad. He is the happy, go lucky guy, that is always the life of the party. What in the word would get him sad? The thought and the feeling stuck with me for several days.

8-Year-Old Gives Homeless Man Dinner

It came to the forefront last night though as my wife and daughter and I lay on the couch talking and laughing and sharing with each other. My daughter has really come to the point where she is fascinated by tiny houses, watches house tours on YouTube, talks about why sleeping lofts are cool until you get big, and telling people her daddy is a famous tiny house guy. Before we kind of went our separate ways we prayed together as a family. My daughter prayed for a homeless man we met the week of Christmas that we ultimately helped out and spent a few minutes with. I asked my daughter, “That fellow really left an impression on you, didn’t he?” “Yessir,” she responded. She continued on, “I think about the moms and the babies and stuff that don’t have homes too. I wonder how they feel good at night when it is dark and sometimes cold.”

I quickly flashed back to that Tiny House Podcast interview. Why was I always laughing and why did it seem so ground-breaking that I took a conversation seriously?

I took my daughter’s hand and I asked her to look at me. “That is why daddy works so much with tiny houses. That is why he writes about them and talks about them and helps build them. Daddy thinks tiny houses could help a lot of people in a lot of ways. I don’t think they are the answer to all of our problems baby and even that man we met wouldn’t be any happier with a tiny house but if we could change the way we think darling, and really change what we think we deserve in life we can come to a place where we can all have homes of some kind and no mommy or daddy or little sister will have to go to bed outside.”

And like that, I had explained to my wife, my daughter, and most importantly, myself, why I love tiny houses. It’s true. I’ve been involved with the modern tiny house movement a long time and I have a lot of strong opinions and I am a pretty big cut-up on most occasions. But truth be told, I have stayed in the game because, well, it isn’t a game to me. It isn’t about the TV shows or the eBooks or the t-shirts or anything else. For me it is about changing the face of the American landscape and making our nation something akin to safe for all people. I want to go to bed each night knowing that I have done all I can to help others stay out of the elements in a structure they can close their eyes in, gaze upward, arch their back, inhale deeply, and feel they are home!

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

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