Homelessness in Seattle is a full-blown crisis. We’ve all seen the tents under the freeways and have walked past people living on sidewalks. What we don’t see are the sometimes full shelters forcing families to separate and go to different shelters miles apart.
The building of tiny houses is an immediate solution when few good solutions are being offered. It is especially encouraging to see a developer stepping up. I hope Burrard Group will challenge others in its industry to do the same.
The villages built by the Low Income Housing Institute provide shelter with heat and electricity, a communal kitchen, toilets, showers and security. Doors can be locked so people feel OK about leaving their few belongings while they go to work or school. More important, the tiny house villages offer stability and a way into permanent housing.
People lose their homes for lots of reasons, and homelessness is complex. Ending homelessness starts with a roof over your head, even if it’s a tiny one. However, this is only a temporary solution; solving Seattle homelessness requires concerted efforts from city government, nonprofit organizations and the community.
Bich-Thuy Eberhart, Seattle, tiny house village volunteer