Living in Seattle, I see homeless people all around me, wrapped in tarps, sleeping on benches, or panhandling. I can’t even compare my privileges to theirs, and when I think about this, I feel grateful for all the things I have.
A year ago, a parent came to speak at my school about homelessness in Seattle. She goes around every year trying to do a count of all the homeless in Seattle. She told us a story of one woman that she met, whose company unexpectedly closed, (she and her husband both worked there) and they suddenly could no longer afford to rent a place in Seattle. This got me thinking, “What can I do to help?”
Since then, I’ve been pondering this question, until we stumbled across the LIHI (Low Income Housing Institute) Tiny House villages. LIHI’s goal is to create tiny houses that homeless people can move into that will provide a stable, weatherproof shelter until they can move on to permanent housing.
The eight by twelve-foot house, is covered with a waterproof roof, has a door and a window, and insulated floors and walls. They are safe, sturdy houses that will protect individuals and families and give them a place to call home.
To me, this is a great idea, and although it’s not perfect, it’s a good temporary solution to the problem of homelessness and an excellent way to give homeless people a brighter future.
The main reason that I would like to build a tiny house is that I want to do something constructive for our community, something that will mean something to someone, something that will hopefully make someone smile. I hope to help someone get off the streets, and get a chance at success in life.
The tiny house villages will give people necessary hygiene facilities, access to utilities, and a friendly community. Although the cost of building materials not inexpensive, I think that the end result will be worth it. I’ll come back with new construction and woodworking skills, and the knowledge that I have helped someone find a safe place in a safe environment.
After hearing and reading about LIHI’s tiny house villages, whenever I see a person sleeping or asking for money on the streets, I think about the tiny houses, and the great impact that they’ve made, and will continue to make in the homeless community.
Link to LIHI’s website: https://lihi.org/tiny-houses/