Providing Dignity and Respect
While tiny homes are a key component to these neighborhoods the emphasize is building communities that provide dignity and respect. These tiny homes will be small providing the necessities of a door with a lock for security, a bedroom and sitting area as well as a toilet and sink. They are designed to be small and encourage the residents to interact with each other inside the community center and common grounds.
Tiny home villages create a community culture like that of a neighborhood providing opportunities for collaboration within leadership roles, sharing resources and allowing each person to have a voice in making decisions. Previously isolated individuals with little responsibilities are given structure and the opportunity to make the decisions about the community where they now live.
“I read a story about a couple living in one of the existing communities in Oregon. Lisa and Tom had been homeless for many years, living on the streets, finding tree and shrub protected areas to sleep. Tom struggled with depression often not getting up off his pallet for days on end. When Linda and Tom moved into a tiny home community Linda became a leader within the community and was responsible for conducting neighbor meetings to manage weekly community tasks. Through her role, Linda learned how to lead and organize, while helping to complete necessary tasks within the tiny home community. The interesting by-product of Linda’s leadership role was how it changed Tom. He now was the first one up making sure Linda was awake and ready to take on the day. He was so proud and supportive of her that he began taking on extra responsibilities within the village as well, no longer staying in bed for days, and was a changed man as a result.” Nancy Holland, Executive Director, DE Serves, Inc.
Providing Leadership Skills
Much like neighborhood associations, the tiny home communities have leadership opportunities for the residents to take ownership of the day-to-day operations, creating a sense of stewardship and responsibility for the wellbeing of the community and neighbors. In fact, many of the residents who move on to apartment living will return for the fellowship opportunities that the community provides.
Tiny home communities encourage collaboration amongst not only the residents, but also with those in the surrounding city-including schools, service providers, employers, professionals, city officials and concerned citizens-to create opportunities for a community to come together and develope more housing to serve the deserving.
A Tiny Act of Kindness
Homes for the Homeless Projections
- 150 sq ft home
- Sleeping area
- Sink & toilet
- Air conditioning
(When possible there will be sustainable alternatives used to reduce expenses-i.e. solar panels, rain barrels, recycled materials, etc.)
- Laundry room
- Recreation area
- Classroom/dining room
- Mediation room
(These are the specific communal areas that will be available for the residents.)
- Apprenticeship programs with local corporations as well as workplace training classes
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Financial planning
- Veterans benefits
- Tai Chi
- Cooking, etc.
The total size should be around 2 acres and will include the community center and the tiny homes. The community center will house a food/clothing pantry, a thrift store, a cafe and offices, while the back half will house the resources for the residents.
Programs and future initiatives
Job Skills Training
High talent shortages continue in the U.S., with 46% of employers struggling to fill open positions.1 To help fill this skills gap, community residents will gain essential job skills training, learning hard and soft skills that will help them become desirable candidates for future contract and permanent jobs.
There will be opportunities for therapeutic gardening that will aid keeping costs down by allowing residents to grow food and plants for the community. These items can also be sold at farmers’ markets and in thrift stores.
There will always be a need for valuable trade skills like woodworking. To provide residents with an additional skill set and to help build future tiny home villages, the residents will have the opportunity to learn these skills that will potentially provide them with a future career path.
For residents interested in artisanal crafts, the tiny home village will offer opportunities to produce crafts that can sold at farmers’ markets, thrift stores and online.