Paul G. Allen is providing a $75,000 grant to the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) to purchase the building materials for 8 to 10 tiny houses for Othello Village, a City of Seattle-sanctioned homeless encampment located at 7544 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S in southeast Seattle. This is planned to serve over 100 homeless men, women and children over time. Currently the residents are using porta potties and have no shower facilities at Othello Village. The grant funding will help pay for the cost of installing a number of plumbed toilets, sinks, and shower facilities.
28 tiny houses have been built since the City of Seattle issued a temporary permit and the village opened on March 8. The village was created for homeless families, couples, singles and people with pets, along with two container shelters, 12 tents on platforms, a security booth, a kitchen/dining tent, and a donation tent. The houses are each 8′ x 12′ and most were built by volunteers. The village now hosts 53 people including 13 children, and eventually will have up to 80 residents total.
Bronson Carrasco, who lives in a tiny house at Othello Village comments on the need for hygiene facilities. He has been at Othello since it opened in March and works as a welder.
“When you are homeless it is very exhausting trying to meet basic hygiene needs if you are working. It is a great comfort for someone who works full-time to have a shower and be clean every day. This will give me self-respect and dignity,” Carrasco said.
Othello Village provides safe shelter for individuals and families currently experiencing homelessness. LIHI is a partner with Nickelsville, a self-managed community where residents have assigned chores and duties. Residents have to abide by a strict code of conduct including no alcohol, no drugs and no weapons. The most recent One Night Count showed that over 3,000 men, women, and children were living unsheltered on the streets of Seattle. The village was developed as an innovative crisis response to homelessness by moving people into tiny houses and safe encampments.
To donate to the tiny house village go to www.LIHI.org.