5.5.23: THANK YOU!



Thanks to many of you, our first ever participation in the GiveBIG event was a huge success. We met our matched challenge and raised $44,942!  Of course we had some major donors, but the majority of our gifts were in the $25-$200 range.  It just shows us that it truly takes a village to build a village.

Thanks to your generosity, 10 of our homeless neighbors will get off the ground immediately and up to 600 neighbors will be warm, safe, and dry during the lifetime of these homes.  THANK YOU!!!

Thank you to our givers:   Anonymous (several times over), Andrew, Carl, Chuck, Chuck,  David, Guy and Joyce, Jodi, Jim, K and John, Kalai, Kathleen, Krista, Lance, Leslie, Lydia, Mary, Mark, Mark, Michelle, Michael, Mike, Pat and Greg, Peter and Lisa, Ryan, Sarah, Shirley, Stephanie, and Verne.  And, of course, the Beeks Family Legacy Foundation for their match.



Now that we have shown you HOW we are going to build more tiny homes, let’s talk about the WHY.  Our friend Andrew Constantino shares his thoughts.

By Andrew Constantino

After working for years with the organized encampments (such as Tent City 3) and later the Tiny House Villages, with SHARE, Nickelsville & LIHI, I decided to change jobs and now am a downtown street outreach worker at REACH (https://www.etsreach.org)

While working at the Tiny Houses, I often interacted with REACH and the Navigation Team (later the HOPE Team) by reporting openings and communicating referrals. In the early days, this was done through a phone call and we collaborated to best serve clients in need. There was flexibility and many times a client would simply stop by on
their own and ask if there were any openings and these were easy to get approved.



During severe weather, such as snow, we would often make extra space, such as in kitchens and community rooms to get folks outta the cold for a few days. When we had social/behavioral issues with villagers, we could communicate with other villages and shelters and transfer clients so that they had a second chance in a different setting.
There was FLEXIBILITY based on clients needs and desires. This has changed over time to become extremely restrictive and narrow.
Now, it is next to impossible to get a referral to a tiny house. They are nearly all reserved for encampment sweeps. Though it’s great that folks in need get these openings, it creates a climate where those who ASK FOR HELP cannot receive it and it encourages people who want a tiny house to gather in high profile, often unstable large encampments.


In Seattle, you cannot ask for help.  You can only wait until it is forced upon you.
I encounter about 80 to 100 folks a month who are living outside. Easily 9 out of 10 ask me for a tiny house. I used to tell them “I’ll try” or “Maybe” but now the answer is “That’s not realistic”. I want to be honest with clients. There simply are no spaces for people that need them. Even basic shelters usually have 1 or 2 openings a day and these are the shelters that many clients avoid.

Clients express to me a fear of moving directly to housing as well, such as through Partnership for Zero. Some worry about what happens after a short term ‘rapid rehousing’ stay ends. One year free rent sounds great but… then what? Clients also express that they don’t want to take their addiction into housing with them. They want something in between.
It is worth mentioning as well that squeezing “length of stay” at villages in order to produce more availability solves nothing. Creating 6 month or 3 month length of stay rules completely flies in the face of a client centered approach. People cannot hope to address all of their challenges in a few months.
What we need are more villages!

We hope to be building with you soon.

Your Leadership Team:  Beatrice, Tom, Bruce, David, Timothy and Barb