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Occupy Madison Builds Tiny Homes For The Homeless

Occupy Madison tackles the problem of finding homes for the homeless in a most creative way.

The tiny house movement is one I've been watching for awhile. If you're unfamiliar with it, watch the video at the top.

Now Occupy Madison has harnessed the power of the tiny house idea for homeless people in their city. ThinkProgress:

Indeed, in January of this year, a citywide count found 831 homeless people living in Madison, a 47 percent increase in the past 3 years. And it’s not just adults; 110 families with children were identified as well.

The “Tiny House Project” began the same month. The plan was for volunteers to build micro-homes that still include living necessities like a bed, insulation, and a toilet. The homes are heated via propane and include a pole-mounted solar panel to power the house’s light. The total cost: $3,000, paid for by private donations.

Rather than building the homes on a particular lot of land — and thus adding another expense — the houses are mounted on trailers which can be legally parked on the street, as long as they’re moved every 48 hours. Parking on the street may not even be necessary after Occupy organizers successfully convinced the Madison Common Council recently to change the city’s zoning laws so the homes could be parked on private property with permission.

As Occupy Madison continues to build more tiny houses, it hopes to eventually buy a plot of land and create a tiny village with as many as 30 homes.

“It’s not just a shelter, it’s a commitment to a lifestyle,” Brenda Konkel, who heads a tenants’ rights non-profit in Madison, said during the zoning meeting, according to The Capital Times. “It’s a co-op mixed with Habitat for Humanity mixed with eco-village as the long-term goal.”

You go, Occupy Madison! What a wonderful idea, and one that can be done anywhere in the nation.

All of this got me to thinking about how interesting it is to compare the Occupy movement to the Tea Party movement. One exists to build up (Occupy) and the other to destroy.

Watch Occupy Madison's video here.

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