Tiny Houses Are Combatting Homelessness Across The Country

"It has been long accepted that the first step in alleviating homelessness is to have stability."

To combat the ongoing homelessness problem across America, St. Louis-based charity North Grand Neighborhood Services is building several tiny homes. The abodes, though small, can house up to two people. They're also sustainable, cost-effective, and a key part of the solution for those who are without a home.

According to a GoFundMe page established by NGNS, the hope is to start by building three tiny attached houses in a lot donated to the city by the organization. NGNS will then own, manage and maintain the houses, which will reinstate the feeling of stability and hope for those in need.

"Individuals who will make these houses their homes will no longer have to sleep in a shelter," the page states. "It has been long accepted that the first step in alleviating homelessness is to have stability, and that translates to residential security. A sense of self-worth begins to build, and everyone starts to understand that they are loved, that they are not alone, and that their future holds promise."  

Per the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, the homeless population in St. Louis stood at approximately 6,500 in 2015. Though the majority of those people were in emergency shelters or transitional housing, over 1,00 people were completely unsheltered. From a country-wide perspective, the National Alliance to End Homelessness reported roughly 565,000 people people were homeless on any given night in 2015.

In addition to providing shelter to those who might have fallen on difficult times, the tiny house project will teach local high school students the importance of giving back and serving their community. As noted on the fundraising platform, students from local Summit and Eureka High Schools will each build one of the three house during the 2017-2018 school year on the school premises.

The students will learn necessary homebuilding skills in a specialized class called Geometry in Construction, and, with their actions, will also be introduced to the value of social justice. At the end of the school year, the plan is for the two houses to be transported to the aforementioned lot and permanently attached to a foundation. The third house will be built on site by volunteers. 

Though NGNS is currently only working on tiny houses in St. Louis, Curbed reports similar initiatives have been successful in places like Detroit, Michigan, Syracuse, New York, and Nashville, Tennessee. To learn more about NGNS, please click here.

Cover image via Segen / Shutterstock.

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