The tiny house movement has become a unifying force among middle class youth who want more out of life than a life-time of 9-5 misery in exchange for a mortgage. But it’s also a growing trend among philanthropists and charitable organizations striving to end homelessness across the USA to look to small homes as a way to give a leg up to people in need. Ironically, some places in the nation have become tiny house congregations, and they’re showing the nation what might be a future alternative to draconian home owners associations looking to drive up property values at any cost.
Here are some of the tiny communities around the country that have opened their doors to the homeless, helping them get back on their feet and join society once again with their heads held high.
1. Infinity Village in Nashville, TN
The Reverend Jeff Obafemi Carr, of the Infinity Fellowship, collaborates with a local construction company to build colorful 60 square foot shelters for the homeless on the grounds of a Nashville church community. They got their funding from a Go Fund Me campaign, and since they got started, they’ve been growing little by little all the time.
2. My Tiny House Project L.A. in Los Angeles, CA
Founded by L.A. native, Elvis Summers, My Tiny House Project L.A. is a non-profit organization with over 40 tiny houses on wheels about 50 square feet in size for the homeless, which were built on private property. They’re equipped with solar panels and portable composting toilets.
3. The Cottages at Hickory Crossing in Dallas, TX
An alliance of social service organization, including CitySource, have come together to build 50 approximately 400 square foot cottages for the homeless of Dallas. Each has the usual amenities you would expect, and the community has a mental health care clinic on premises as well. The city of Dallas provided a $2.5-million grant for the project, which was added to funds raided by a donors and local churches.
4. CASS Community in Detroit, MI
Comprised of various small homes ranging in size from 250 – 400 square feet in size, this community was started with the help of a donation from Ford. Residents pay about $300/month on a rent to own program.
5. The Village of Hope in Fresno, CA
Initiated by the Poverello House, a Fresno-based non-profit, this little tiny house community consists of small prefab structures designed to act as overnight shelters for the homeless. Education facilities, substance abuse counseling and mental health care are provided as well. They can house up to 124 people each night
6. A Tiny Home for Good in Syracuse, NY
Intended for homeless veterans, the charity organization A Tiny Home For Good is providing 240 square foot tiny houses constructed on vacant lots to those in need. Each house is fully equipped and modern. Rent is based on a sliding scale, depending on a tenant’s income.
7. Second Wind Cottages in Newfield, NY
Second Wind Cottages in a small non-profit in a small town in New York state. Residents are asked to pay as they are able to live in a small structure including a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. With about nine houses currently, this little tiny house community is looking to expand.
8. Dignity Village in Portland, OR
Dignity Village is a self-governed tiny house community sanctioned by the city of Portland to reside on city land. There are 43 small homes made of recycled and reclaimed materials, each with a propane heater and a bedroom. Residents are only allowed to reside in the community for a maximum of two years. Annual operating costs are just $28,000.
9. Community First in Austin, TX
An Austin charity called Mobile Loaves and Fishes has undertaken this project to house the homeless. Plans include a 27-acre village of tiny homes of all different styles. In the village there are gardens, a medical center, an outdoor movie theater and much more. Rent is just $200 – $350 a month. Each structure in the village is privately sponsored, and the community currently houses around 80 people, with an expectation of reaching full capacity near the end of 2017.
10. Othello Village in Seattle, WA
The city of Seattle is working together with a non-profit called the Low Income Housing Institute to organize the third largest encampment for the homeless, comprised of 100 square foot houses, as well as dozens of short-term tents. The city pays about $160,000 a year to supply services to the tiny house community – much less than it would cost to police and imprison the homeless for being on the streets, which is what often happens nationwide.
Hopefully more communities like these will spring up across the country and help solve the problem of homeless in the USA once and for all, in addition to showcasing the benefits of the tiny house lifestyle for everyone.