Tag Archives: homeless

Tiny Homes For the Homeless

The UN and NGOs have been working on developing cheap modular housing for disaster victims for about 10 years now. A lot of different approaches have been tried, including completely modular “flat pack” style houses which are easily shipped in containers cost as little as $4000 – $30,000 depending on size and amenities, as well as using the containers themselves as housing. Containers were particularly attractive, due to the low cost of a 40′ container, which used, is typically between $1500 and $4000 depending on type and condition. There are literally millions of these containers sitting in storage yards, as they typically are only used once. Indeed, there is a burgeoning market in the US and overseas selling kits, complete with tools and components to DIY for under $20k.

The Rev in this article could probably have done better with a flat pack. This very basic model is $4,000, and this gorgeous one $8,000. Noticing that all of the Rev’s houses are set on trailer frames (which are expensive), I am going to guess the local zoning laws prohibit actually setting the house on the ground, considering them permanent.

In other parts of the world, like London, and in Slovakia – this concept is being introduced to the urban environment.

Seems to me that stripping this concept down into something useable by the urban/suburban homeless could result in a shelter designed for a 7-10 year lifecycle, with a toilet, and electrical connection for heat for something in the $3,000-$4000 range. Making the annual cost of housing about $300-400 a year. Which seems to me cheaper than running a shelter (feel free to correct me if I am wrong). It doesn’t eliminate the need for food and water, nor would the basic model be useable by families (a somewhat larger model?). There are a lot of “cracks and crevices” in most cities (open ground) where clusters of 5 or 10 of these could be placed. Clustering also adds to security for the homeless.

Tiny Homes for the Homeless

One Nashville pastor has a plan to help those without permanent shelter: building 60-square-foot houses with no bathroom, kitchen, or electricity.

ASHVILLE—Around the time that Vanderbilt University released the results of a large-scale study outlining the most effective solutions to homelessness, Pastor Jeff Obafemi Carr was moving into a 60-square-foot house with no bathroom, kitchen, or even a sink. Carr’s idea was to temporarily leave behind his wife and five kids to live in the tiny house, which looks like a tool shed, to raise $50,000 to build more such homes for the homeless.

After two months living in the home, Carr had raised $66,967—enough to build six. The buildings are now set up, on wheels, in the backyard of the Green Street Church on Nashville’s east side, part of a sanctuary that also houses homeless people living in tents who moved from an encampment in one of Nashville’s parks that recently closed.

The homes are brightly painted yellow, blue, orange, and purple, with red doors and white trim. They cost about $7,000 each to build, and measure 5-by-12 on the inside. Residents use bathrooms in the church, and shower outside with a hose. They eat donated food and drink coffee set up under a tent in the yard.

Peter Regan lives in one of the homes. He hangs his jacket on a bar above his bed, and folds his clothes in tiny cube containers at the foot of it. Batteries power a fan in the window, and many days, he’ll sit on a camping chair on his front porch and talk to his neighbors, other people without permanent homes.

“It’s a lot better than living in a tent, and if you’ve got some Yankee ingenuity in you, you can figure stuff out,” he told me from his porch, gesturing to the jury-rigged lights he’s set up (the homes are not yet connected to a power grid or generator).

Tiny homes for the homeless may not be the solution policy wonks dream of. Indeed, the Vanderbilt study found that housing-choice vouchers, which allow families to live in market-rate apartments, are among the best solutions for homelessness. But in many booming cities, including Nashville, where rents are rising and vouchers can be hard to come by, and there’s little city money for anti-homelessness programming, short-term solutions such as Carr’s may make sense. Regan, for instance, says he’s been on the waitlist for a Section 8 voucher for months.

“This model provides a stepping stone to homefulness,” Carr told me. “If you set the goal as homefulness, you have to think, ‘How do we get to that?’ So many times, people think they have to get a Ph.D. so they can get grant money to do a study to find out that the number-one thing to do to fight homelessness is to give someone a home.”

This DIY model to solving social problems is common in Nashville, a Bible Belt city where faith-based organizations play an especially important role in anti-poverty programs. Just consider where these homes are set up: the backyard of the Green Street Church, which welcomed in tents and tiny houses once homeless people were evicted from Fort Negley, a city park. “Sanctuary,” a sign reads on the fence surrounding the lot, the “T” in the word designed to double as a cross…The Rest Here

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Posted by on October 31, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life, Uncategorized


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A Social Experiment Turns Into a Lesson On Character

This one is from the Prank Channel on Youtube. A prankster gives a homeless man $100…Then follows him to see how he spends it. What happens next will turn many people’s preconceptions upside down.

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Posted by on December 26, 2014 in The Post-Racial Life


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Sly Stone Homeless

Sly smoked all the money…

Homeless Sly Stone Living in Camper, Still Recording Music

Sly Stone

Sad news out of today’s New York Post: Sly Stone, the mastermind behind the legendary psychedelic soul-funk outfit Sly & the Family Stone, has been reduced to living in a van in Los Angeles, eating meals given to him by a retired couple.

As the Post reports, the musician born Sylvester Stewart has been plagued by drug abuse and bad financial decisions. Back in the ’80s, he sold Michael Jackson his publishing rights for $1 million, and last year, he filed a $50 million lawsuit against manager Jerry Goldstein, who he claims cheated him out of two decades of royalty payments. Earlier this year, he was arrested for possession of freebase cocaine.

Since his heyday in the late ’60s and early ’70s — when he scored hits with such songs as ‘Everyday People’ and ‘Family Affair’ — Stone has been one of music’s most notorious recluses. After a performance in 1987, he disappeared from the public eye, resurfacing 19 years later for a brief, head-scratching cameo at a 2006 Grammy tribute. He toured Europe the following year, but according to the Post, he’s now a “disheveled, paranoid” shell of his former self.

On the bright side, Stone has been recording new music, and while he’s hesitant to trust managers or record labels, there’s still a chance his new songs will see the light of day.

“My music is a format that will encourage you to have a song you won’t forget,” he told the Post. “That’s why I got so much money, that there are so many people around, and that’s why I am in court. Millions of dollars!”

“But now please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music,” he added. “I’m tired of all this s–t, man.”


Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Music, From Way Back When to Now


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Eric Sheptock, Homeless Advocate for the Homeless

Meet Eric Sheptock, who lives on the streets in Washington, DC, and is a homeless advocate using the power of the Internet to get the message about the homeless out…

D.C’s ‘homeless homeless’ advocate

Eric Sheptock has 4,548 Facebook friends, 839 Twitter followers, two blogs and an e-mail account with 1,600 unread messages.

What he doesn’t have is a place to live.

“I am a homeless homeless advocate,” he often tells people. That’s the line that hooks them, the one that gives Sheptock – an unemployed former crack addict who hasn’t had a permanent address in 15 years – his clout on the issue of homelessness. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in General


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Formerly Homeless – Now Harvard Bound!

Every once in a while, some good things happen to folks who wouldn’t otherwise seem to have a chance in life. This one is a congratulations and  Good Luck to Khadijah Williams!

Khadijah Willaims at Graduation

Khadijah Willaims at Graduation

Khadijah Williams, 18, overcomes a lifetime in shelters and on skid row.
By Esmeralda Bermudez
11:03 PM PDT, June 19, 2009

Khadijah Williams stepped into chemistry class and instantly tuned out the commotion.

She walked past students laughing, gossiping, napping and combing one another’s hair. Past a cellphone blaring rap songs. And past a substitute teacher sitting in a near-daze.

Quietly, the 18-year-old settled into an empty table, flipped open her physics book and focused. Nothing mattered now except homework.

“No wonder you’re going to Harvard,” a girl teased her.

Around here, Khadijah is known as “Harvard girl,” the “smart girl” and the girl with the contagious smile who landed at Jefferson High School only 18 months ago.

What students don’t know is that she is also a homeless girl.

As long as she can remember, Khadijah has floated from shelters to motels to armories along the West Coast with her mother. She has attended 12 schools in 12 years; lived out of garbage bags among pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. Every morning, she upheld her dignity, making sure she didn’t smell or look disheveled.

On the streets, she learned how to hunt for their next meal, plot the next bus route and help choose a secure place to sleep — survival skills she applied with passion to her education.

Only a few mentors and Harvard officials know her background. She never wanted other students to know her secret — not until her plane left for the East Coast hours after her Friday evening graduation.

“I was so proud of being smart I never wanted people to say, ‘You got the easy way out because you’re homeless,’ ” she said. “I never saw it as an excuse.”…


Posted by on June 20, 2009 in News


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