One American City Has a Brilliant Plan to Fight Homelessness

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Madison, Wisconsin, debuted its effort to help the homeless — a village of tiny houses. 

Wisconsin's capital unveiled over the weekend a neighborhood of one-room homes for the city's homeless population. The Tiny House Village offers three completed homes; four people are set to move in this week.

Source: AP

Nine homes, all made from reclaimed and recycled materials, will be completed by the end of the project. Plans also include the addition of a bathroom, a community room with a kitchen and a laundry facility, a garden, a tree orchard and chickens.

Source: AP

And it's costing the public nothing. Organized and funded by Occupy Madison and a local homeless coalition, the project is being funded with private donations, and the homes are being built on private property.

Madison's undertaking is a compassionate alternative to other cities' efforts. For example, London tried "anti-homeless spikes," San Francisco blared noises to disrupt the sleeping homeless and, in 2012, New York City tried to ban individual food donations to the homeless.

Source: Getty Images

For some reason, not too many cities have tried what seems like an obvious solution to homelessness — a home. 

Madison joins a handful of other cities with similar projects in the works. Newfield, New York, has plans for 14 to 18 tiny houses and Austin, Texas, plans to build a 27-acre village that will house 200 people.

Expect this trend to continue. Cities such as Portland, Oregon, have begun to investigate the villages as a possible solution for homelessness in the city.

There's good reason more cities are considering this option — it's a smart one. Tiny house villages provide more privacy and independence than traditional shelters and sturdier protection than "tent cities." Moreover, Time reports that tiny homes could be less costly than typical emergency shelters, "which cost up to $16,000 a year and lack plumbing."

Given all of the information, the idea of tiny house villages seems all the more brilliant. Here's to hoping that Madison is just the first in a long line of cities to realize it.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Becca Stanek

Becca is a Mic Editorial Fellow writing for the news section. A recent graduate of DePauw University, she has previously written for TIME and The Oregonian.

MORE FROM

Watchdog groups sue Trump for deleting tweets, allegedly violating Presidential Records Act

Trump's deleted tweets may come back to haunt him.

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

A final ruling by US government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700.

Another day, another off-camera White House press briefing

The move to scale back on-camera press briefings comes amid Trump's increasing unwillingness to interact with the press.

Minneapolis might get a $15 minimum wage, but restaurant workers aren't celebrating

Discord has been brewing in Minneapolis over whether tipped work will be counted toward a $15 minimum wage.

These abysmal new poll numbers for House health care bill don't bode well for Senate version

Only 34% of Republicans approve of the new proposed law.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

Watchdog groups sue Trump for deleting tweets, allegedly violating Presidential Records Act

Trump's deleted tweets may come back to haunt him.

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

A final ruling by US government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700.

Another day, another off-camera White House press briefing

The move to scale back on-camera press briefings comes amid Trump's increasing unwillingness to interact with the press.

Minneapolis might get a $15 minimum wage, but restaurant workers aren't celebrating

Discord has been brewing in Minneapolis over whether tipped work will be counted toward a $15 minimum wage.

These abysmal new poll numbers for House health care bill don't bode well for Senate version

Only 34% of Republicans approve of the new proposed law.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.