I’m part of a project that is interested in building tiny homes for those experiencing homelessness. Tiny homes seem to be quite the rage right now. Although the idea has been around for some time. You can find tiny home villages throughout the nation – many devoted to specific groups of people. Some devoted to helping homeless veterans, others more general in nature.
I’m passionate about finding ways to end homelessness. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that homelessness exists in the wealthiest country in history. It makes no sense. So I’m part of a project with several other people who are trying to find a way to do something about homelessness in our community.
As passionate as I am about this, something was lacking. I had never stayed in a tiny home. How was I supposed to speak with any authority, or even have any idea of what living in a tiny home was like, and if it was the right solution, if I had not at least stayed in a tiny home?
And so, recently, my wife and I stayed in a tiny home. The home was 103 square feet total. Small and large are flexible terms. To give you some perspective, here’s a few other things that are about 100 square feet – many good sized cars and SUVs are about 100 square feet. A can of paint will cover about 100 square feet. If you mashed 50 people together, they would cover about 100 square feet.
So the question is this – is 100 square feet a livable situation? Yes and no.
Understand, my wife and I were staying for a night. And we have four children. And a dog. And guinea pigs. And a fish. So, no, a tiny home of 100 square feet is not livable for our household. And that’s ok. But that doesn’t mean it’s not livable for an individual.
What we found in the tiny house was this – everything we needed. There was a table, a refrigerator, running water, a bathroom, a bed, and a little bit of storage That’s the material things.
Here’s the immaterial – we found a great deal of creativity and ingenuity. We found that there wasn’t a lot of clutter, but space. We found closeness too. We found there were many things missing that were unnecessary. We found books and learning. We found conversation.
If homelessness is an issue you care about – I encourage you to stay in a tiny home. If you are thinking about how tiny homes might be part of the solution to homelessness, I encourage you to stay in a tiny home. My hope is that it raises questions and it inspires creativity. Staying in tiny home offers the opportunity to get out of your world and into a different world.