Dignity Village: Tiny Homes Community for Homeless in Portland, Oregon


In the Pacific Northwest, people with nowhere else to go are forming micro-communities with communal kitchens and toilets but teeny, individual sleeping units. Could tiny homes, once the provenance of design blogs, help curb homelessness nationwide?


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5 Responses to Dignity Village: Tiny Homes Community for Homeless in Portland, Oregon

  1. gauchoman2002 says:

    I’d be interested to see an effort like this dovetailed into a statewide initiative to provide free housing for homeless folks (much like they’ve successfully implement in Utah).

    • AVD says:

      There is an old saying – “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day – but teach a man to fish and he eats forever”.

      Nothing of value in life is “free”. The “homeless” residents would be far better served and gain in self-dignity if they gave back to the community in some way for what the community provides.

      Growing and tending a community garden, planting and maintaining trees to help moderate heat-islands, or raising native pond frogs and pond turtles in that bio-swale shown in the photo are a few “community services” that could be traded in exchange for shelter. Residents can always learn and possibly prosper from doing valuable tasks.

      Instead of providing ready-made shelters, why not evaluate and select several homeless people to participate in a self-help program. Under the guidance of skilled supervisors, teach “residents” how to construct and finish a shelter as a team.

      Years ago, I absorbed many construction skills working alongside a former C.C.C. “graduate” who learned his skills working up from poverty as a “resident” of several Civilian Conservation Corps camps during the 1930s.


  2. Pastor Ed Fowler says:

    I agree that they should give back to the communities that help them with a tiny house. I am a Pastor to the Homeless, and one of the most difficult things they deal with is the fact that they have NOTHING to do with their free time. They often beg me for things to do to take away their idleness & that in itself, can destroy them. I have had many volunteer to do tasks that not even a paid worker would do because it’s better than rotting away doing nothing. They become prey for alcohol, drugs, crime, sex, and whatever takes away their bore-dorm.

    There are exceptions to how much a person can contribute, like those who have become so sick that they are unable to return the favor (unless they become well or being nurtured back to health). I have seen some die who never reach the stage of giving back, however, those around them want to help them if they can, and it gives them not only motivation, but the satisfaction of doing something good for someone in need. Also if they help build their own abode, a sense of pride and dignity is born to them that cannot be removed. God honors that!

  3. Catherine Else says:

    there is a feeling of sanctimoniousness in your posts.no mention of how filthy capitalism churns people out and makes them poor. so how they have to sing for their supper.?some can contribute and some cannot and before they can tend anything they need to be nurtured….look at the injusties of the system before writing these posts
    catherine uk

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