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Tiny homes could help get homeless off streets of San Luis Obispo

This is a tiny home, one of many that Hope’s Village is hoping to build to help the homeless population in San Luis Obispo.

“Housing makes them feel like they can start their life over again, they’re not just shifting from place to place and trying to figure out how to stay dry and if there’s no room in the shelter where do they go at night?,” asks Barbara Schippers, Treasurer of Hope’s Village.

Their tiny home is 77 square feet, cost less than four thousand dollars to make and volunteers from Hope’s Village built it themselves.

Now as they look to expand their movement, they have one major roadblock: where to put the homes.

“We are hoping for a donation – somebody could donate five acres and they’d have a great tax write off or we could lease the land for 99 years for a dollar a year like some non-profits do,” says Schippers.

But the location would have to be more than just land – Hope’s Village would need a space that has accessibility for a bus line and sewage, something many say is a tall order.

“The problem is is that it may be just as expensive to build or find the land and connect it to all the utilities and services necessary as it would for a bigger house – the land itself is the most expensive part of things,” explains San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill.

Hill says one criticism he’s heard of the project is that it might not be the most efficient use of space as building a multi story complex that can fit more people.

“Whenever land is available you see the non-profits developers like People’s Self Help and The Housing Authority try to maximize that land, try to get as many units as possible so you have both good living spaces for people and also you’re getting as many people into housing as you possibly can,” he explains.

Despite all of the roadblocks against their project, Barbara Schippers remains optimistic.

“The homeless [are] kinda like refugees in their own land and we help a lot of refugees all over the country all over the world – so it needs to be addressed,” Schippers says.

Hope’s Village hopes to eventually branch out and help more than just the homeless with their tiny homes.

If you have any leads for where Hope’s Village can find a space to fit their needs, you can contact them here.

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