Volunteer members of the protest group Occupy Madison are giving homeless citizens a chance to escape the street by helping to build tiny homes for them. The effort to end homelessness is gaining traction across the country, and other states are either building or considering similar projects.
When the Occupy Madison demonstrations against income inequality ended two years ago, protesters were faced with one of two options: either pack up and go home or roll up their sleeves and get busy.
With support from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Occupy Madison began producing tiny houses to shelter some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. The $5000 homes use propane and solar energy for heat, and each house is equipped with a sink and a composting toilet. A full size bed, a microwave, and a table are the only furnishings in the homes.
In addition to providing shelter and security, the little homes offer a sense of dignity to their residents. The village in Madison will eventually be surrounded by a fence, and it might even include a discount store in the future.
The tiny communities are meeting with approval from most of the public. Jared Haftel tell us that most residents are still somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of homelessness, but they also feel a sense of charity and sympathy toward those who are less fortunate.