Tiny Houses have been steadily growing in popularity among people who want to downsize, simplify their lives, or just want cheaper housing. Now they are helping society with a more serious issue. Homelessness.
There are several benefits to using tiny houses to fill the need of communities across the nation, according to CBS. The tiny houses are much cheaper to build than traditional shelters.
For this purpose they are being built without plumbing for kitchen or bathroom, making the cost only about $5,000 per unit. In addition, many are built with donated materials as well as volunteer labor, sometimes from those that will eventually live in them.
Another benefit is the community atmosphere that these tiny houses provide. Since there are no bathrooms or kitchens, there will be facilities provided in shared buildings. Those who are not that social will have a chance to get used to getting along with others in a controlled environment where cooperation is a necessity.
Having your own tiny house also provides those that are looking for a fresh start something to call their own.
"You're out of the elements, you've got your own bed, you've got your own place to call your own," said Harold "Hap" Morgan, who has suffered injury, depression and alcohol addiction. "It gives you a little bit of self-pride: This is my own house." He added, "My goal is to go back to that and get my own place, but it's really nice to have this to fall back on."
The tiny housing for homeless movement sprang out of the Occupy movement in Eugene, Oregon. What was once an Occupy camp slowly became a tent city for the homeless, which became an idea. Andrew Heben and some others worked with the city, which donated land for a tiny house community, to create a solution.
That solution was Opportunity Village Eugene, which opened up in September. Most of the units, nine huts of 60 square feet and 21 bungalows of 64 and 80 square feet, are already built and ready for tenants.
"It's an American success story. ... Now we see in different cities people coming up with citizen driven solutions," Heben said.
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