Homeless Tiny Homes

Sadly, there are over half a million homeless people living across America with varied responses to the problem from the local communities.

In San Jose, California, the local nonprofit HomeFirst came up with the idea to offer tiny homes—very tiny homes—to the homeless. The project is aimed at getting people off the streets, onto their feet and back into society.

With support from the city’s Mayor Liccardo and Governor Gavin Newsome, HomeFirst teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to build a 40-unit community on vacant city property.

Each tiny home is 80 square feet and contains a twin bed with storage drawers beneath it. The units are equipped with lighting, electrical outlets, smoke detectors, and locking doors.

Residents also have access to shared bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities, and kitchens, plus a common room building with computers and job boards. The entire site is fenced in and provides around-the-clock security.

The idea was years in the making, but in early 2020 the Maybury Bridge Housing Project was finally ready for residents. Built with volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and HomeFirst, each unit cost just $6500—a small price to pay for such a big reward.

Residents stay for 60 days or until they can get into more permanent housing. They are supported with a range of services to help along the way, including healthcare resources and career counseling.

Although tiny in size, these homes serve as a giant step forward for those sheltering in them. A second site is already in the works, and will offer another 40 residences to those who need it most.

If this proves to be successful, San Jose will expand it to other unused industrial sites and vacant lots in the city, chipping away at homelessness–one tiny home at a time.