As the tiny home revolution hits cities across the globe, many communities in the United States are using the trend to help their homeless populations. From Portland to Provo, advocates are using tiny dwellings, modular design and mobile homes to give local homeless people their own comfortable spaces. This week the New York Times uncovered the newest arm of the tiny home trend - one that meshes sustainability with social reform.
In Olympia, Washington, a village of nomadic homeless people called Camp Quixote has sprung up on the city’s outskirts. Rather than banishing the less fortuntate, the city has decided to help create a comfortable, livable community for its members. With the support of Panza, Quixote Village was created. Thirty 144 square foot homes, each adorned with a covered porch, were built along a safe, streetlight-lined lane.
Portland’s appropriately named Dignity Village has provided campgrounds for the city’s homeless for years, while similarly named Dignity Roller Pods have helped local homeless in Provo, Utah have their own shelters to call home. Designed and built by Gary Pickering, who was once homeless himself, the wheeled cabins provide shelter that can be easily moved to public lands.
Occupy Madison has headed up a project to build 98 square foot solar-powered micro homes for area homeless that come with a toilet and small heater. These are also built on wheels, so residents can transport their shelters to public land or church yards.
The tiny home trend not only allows home owners live with a smaller footprint, but also provides our nation’s homeless population with a new sense of confidence and self-sufficiency.