The homeless epidemic isn’t something new. It’s a terrible reality many people have to face daily. So it really hit me in my “feels” when I first learned about Community First! Village. I’m not a fan of trends, but I think this bandwagon is one worth hopping on.
Mobile Loaves & Fishes is a social outreach ministry that began the construction of a tiny home community in 2014. Now, you’ll find a community with over 100 homes thriving on 27 acres in Austin, Texas. These homes and the sense of community do much more than put a roof over people’s heads. It’s giving people an opportunity to rebuild their lives and grow.
Community Works provides individuals with opportunities to rediscover their purpose and apply their skills and talents to earn an income. It may be a micro-enterprise program, but it empowers those involved to serve one another as they learn to develop new skills and cultivate healthy, long-lasting relationships.
This movement has been in steady motion throughout the US. We can’t say for sure where exactly it started, but it’s working and having a positive and profound impact on so many lives.
Second Wind Cottages is another tiny-house village designed to help heal homelessness. 125 volunteers arrived wielding tools, knowledge, and skills to build six 16-by-20-foot tiny homes for a group of homeless individuals in Newfield, NY, just outside of Ithica.
Eden Village is located in Springfield, Missouri. It was August 2018 when this tiny home community made its debut. It has been helping get disabled homeless folks off the streets and into a community. The support of the community center and garden has helped so many. The community center is furnished with a laundry room, kitchen, library, a woodworking shop, a neighborhood store, and a storm shelter.
With housing being so expensive, tiny houses have been a spreading solution to healing homelessness in Indiana, California, Oregon, Missouri, Wisconsin, and the list goes on. Twenty-five tiny houses were donated to homeless veterans in Los Angeles by Arnold Schwarzenegger. This should reflect the growing interest in necessary out-of-the-box ideas that we should incorporate to help get those that are unhoused off the streets.
A 2019 study of 64-thousand homeless people reported that people living on the streets are more likely to face trauma, chronic health conditions and issues, mental health issues, and substance abuse compared to individuals temporarily housed or sheltered.
While the size and type of houses vary, and the communities themselves differ, the bigger picture shows us that there are ways to help heal the homelessness epidemic. A little bit goes a long way, and when we think and step outside of the box, solutions present themselves.
YouTube has some excellent videos of the tiny house communities that are healing homelessness. Your heart will be warmed, but the rabbit hole gets deep, and the warren spans far and wide. It’s a good thing.