Imagine if hosting a transitional tiny home village for the homeless became the norm for all suitable vacant land?


...  At the Intersections conference last month, the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) and design group Radian, gave a brief presentation in the Ignite pitch session on the Beloved Community village. Beloved Community is a self-governed tiny home village for those transitioning out of homelessness, especially those not served by the shelter system. People with pets, couples, transgender folks, and people trying to stay sober, for example, can all find themselves either not welcome or not safe in shelters and are therefore among the priorities for acceptance into the Beloved Community village. Various organizations provide supportive services to the residents, who share the work of maintaining the community.


Temporary uses are efficient, and still better than being on the street, but evicting people who are still homeless when it comes time to build something permanent sounds very difficult. It was hard enough when temporarily leased community gardens were bulldozed in New York City in the late 1990s for housing.

The folks organizing and supporting Beloved Community seem to be aware of this. The homes have been made entirely off-the-grid, self-contained, and mobile.

The village is intended to be short-term transitional housing in the first place. Nonetheless,  for people already trying to achieve stability, yet another move in the middle of that process, with the possible disruptions in access to transportation and other services, is not ideal. It makes sense that they are looking for a permanent location.

But if moving is expected from the beginning and involves bringing your physical home with you, that’s a lot better than it could be—as long as there’s always somewhere else to go.

Imagine if hosting a transitional tiny home village became the norm for all suitable vacant land—dare I say even an expectation. Then our cities might look a lot more like proverbial beloved communities.