Speed Reads

Finally some good news

Seattle is opening a village of tiny homes for the homeless

On Wednesday, Seattle will open a village of 40 tiny homes to provide shelter for approximately 70 homeless people, Think Progress reports. The houses, which are just 12 feet by 8 feet, were constructed by high school and college students through a vocational training program and are planted on land owned by the Low Income Housing Institute, an advocacy group. The village provides a communal kitchen and shower and will be staffed by two full-time employees who will provide security.

“It's a big step up from tent cities, one piece of the puzzle in solving this huge problem, so I think it's a good thing,” one volunteer who worked on the houses, Tim Brincefield, told King 5.

LIHI executive director Sharon Lee explained to MyNorthwest that the village has a "low barrier philosophy" and that people are invited to "come as you are."

"So if you have a drinking problem, it's not required that you be sober in order to live here," Lee said. "But you have to be on your good behavior. You have to be cooperative and you can't do harm to anybody. So everybody will have to check in, sign in. There will be chores. People will be assigned, like, kitchen duty, clean-up duty, maybe doing litter pickup in the community. We expect everyone to participate just like any household."

Seattle has an estimated 3,000 homeless people, with the city's mayor Ed Murray declaring a state of emergency in late 2015. At least 69 people died in 2016 as a result of living on the streets. Seattle officials have proposed as many as 1,000 tiny homes throughout Seattle to shelter the homeless. Jeva Lange