One of the major goals of this class is to have our tiny house serve a purpose after it’s built. Who will live in it? How can our tiny home best serve the community? Nothing is set in stone but, in the spirit of the tiny house movement, we want to do good with this home. How exactly that will be executed has not been decided but we are very hopeful that it will be placed on an organic farm, perhaps housing interns for whom the internship would otherwise not have been accessible.
We are not alone in attempting to use tiny homes to provide housing for those who need it. Homelessness is a chronic problem that many different communities are trying to ameliorate with tiny houses. They can fit into the cracks of a community, being placed in backyards or parked on the street in the case of Nashville’s Infinity Village. In addition the low cost to build them makes their construction a feasible fundraising goal for church groups and other organizations such as Occupy Madison, which is working on building $3,000 tiny homes for homeless residents,
The tiny houses built for these initiatives are smaller than those built by the average tiny-houser. The ones built for the Infinity Village in Nashville come in at a truly tiny 60 square feet. They include a bed, mini fridge, and climate control and are intended to replace the tent city that had previously held many homeless Nashville residents. When the tent city flooded it was condemned but tiny houses, being a solid structure, prevent a similar sweep of destruction from happening again to such a degree.
The hope is that tiny houses will provide good transitional housing for the homeless population so that they can get back on their feet. The creation of tiny house villages intended for this purpose would be a boon for the homeless populations of many cities including Athens. Sadly, as of the 2014 survey of the homeless in Athens, there are 249 people currently homeless, of which 35% are un-sheltered.
While our tiny house will probably not be used to help provide housing for the homeless of Athens I think that, in the future, the construction of tiny houses for this purpose would be a viable option. This is a service learning class and it makes me really happy to know that our work will go to help someone and I hope that, in the future, the tiny house movement will do even more good in Athens and around the nation!