Square One Villages in Eugene, OR has put together a 10-step road-map for building a tiny house village that is illustrated in the image below. Some people think building “tiny houses for the homeless” is as simple as building a tiny house and moving someone in. It takes much more than that, though, to make a successful environment for someone to have a chance to transition from experiencing homelessness to a stable life in housing.
Many people have told us that steps 3 and 4 can be the most time-consuming steps in the process. Our experience has shown this to be true. Building political will goes beyond getting city politicians on-board. It really gets down to working through the neighborhood political landscape. People can be excited about the idea of a tiny house village for those transitioning out of homelessness until they consider the possibility of putting the village in their own neighborhood. This is where we have been for the past year and we need people who live locally in neighborhoods to work with us to build the political will among their neighbors to welcome a small community of friends experiencing homelessness and make this part of their neighborhood identity. We have plenty of people willing to jump in and swing a hammer once we start building but we need a place to put those houses.
We currently have one organization looking into putting a small model village on some property they own. We should know more about that possibility after January. We are still looking for other community partners to work with us in creating an asset for our city and the people we know who are experiencing homelessness. If you are interested in advocating with us to create a small community for people transitioning out of homelessness, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.