Small Solutions to the Big Problem of Homelessness

While homelessness continues to be a major problem in cities around the country, some creative architects and innovative nonprofits are hoping that they have found a solution: micro-houses.

In areas like Olympia, Wash., where the chronically homeless have created makeshift “tent cities” on the edge of town, community groups and advocates are now erecting mini-neighborhoods made up of homes that are often less than 150-square feet. In many of the micro-house villages, homeless individuals pay a small rent (when they are able) to obtain their own one-room house, as well as access to a community building that holds showers, laundry facilities and kitchens.

Though the homes themselves are impressive works of design, in an interview with The New York Times, micro-house architect Garner Miller said the project is more than just about creating unique homes—it’s about helping people often forced to live on the fringes. “I’ve done plenty of high-design projects, and that’s not what this is at all. It’s about providing houses for people who were in tents a month ago.”

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