By Aja Cooper, Staff Writer
Published in print Oct.8, 2014
Greensboro is on its way to having its very own tiny home community. With over 879 people living in homelessness, Tiny Houses Greensboro is hoping to lower this statistic by building a community of tiny homes with the help of those living in homelessness themselves.
Tiny Houses Greensboro is still in the early stages of building its first home. They are currently seeking to raise funds as well as find land in which the homes can be built. Kathe Latham a member of Tiny Houses Greensboro expressed that though in the early stages of the home building process, she and many people experiencing homelessness met with one another to discuss how to make this project happen.
While in the process of researching ways in which they could reduce the number of those living without homes, a member of Resources for Artful Living (REAL), came on the scene. The REAL representative shared that she had a grant to build a tiny house but needed help in making the tiny house tangible and not just an idea.
Latham and her peers were excited but later discovered that there were no funds to actually buy the materials to build the home.
Despite this setback, Tiny Houses Greensboro is still in pursuit of making these homes available to those who are homeless. With some materials in hand and a team member who has 12 years of experience with the building of homes with Habitat for Humanity, the team is hopeful that with more donations they will be able to begin building their first tiny home soon.
Currently, Tiny Houses Greensboro is working with the Interactive Resource Center, a day center for those experiencing homelessness and Resources for Artful Living, a non-profit organization who conducts workshops on sustainability and other creative projects. UNCG’s Center for Community Engaged Design has also been involved in the Tiny House Greensboro project. Latham shared that even though they are currently teamed up with a number of organizations in Greensboro, they are open to working with anybody in any way that would strengthen the project.
The idea is that having the opportunity to help build their own homes, members of the homeless community will be able to experience a greater sense of self-respect, dignity, as well as the discipline to improve their lives substantially and holistically.
Data has shown that “housing first” methods such as the initiative being taken by Tiny Houses, will help move a homeless person not only into a home but also in a position to receive assistance in job training, employment opportunities and other challenges that come along with homelessness.
The first building workshop for Tiny Houses will take place on October 25. “At the first workshop we’ll frame in the house,” voiced Latham in a recent Tiny Houses meeting. “The second workshop will be the interior work and plumbing,”
Unsure if a third workshop will be necessary due to the professional builders that will be coming in at that point, Latham shared that if anyone wanted to assist in the first workshop they are welcome to help but will first need to register in order to do so.
More information on how to help Tiny Houses Greensboro build its first house this month and how to play a role in lowering the number of homeless people in Greensboro can be found on Tiny Houses GSO’s Facebook page.
Tiny House Greensboro is now holding a fundraiser campaign on Indiegogo.com. They are asking donors to help Tiny Houses Greensboro reach their fundraising goal of $5,000.