“I’ve always been interested in tiny home living, I think it’s something that’s way more sustainable and ideal for big cities like Denver,” said Hannah Fageeh, one of the volunteers. “I’ve very big on community living, I moved to Denver to live in a community.”
The homes under construction will nearly double the size of the village, adding to the original set that were moved to that location in North Denver. Each house is approximately 70 square feet and tenants do not need to pay rent.
So far the village has helped 22 people with housing, seven of those residents moved on to find a permanent home. There isn’t any timeline for when someone needs to move out but the range has been three months to two years.
“We call it transformational housing, it’s not a shelter, it’s not transitional,” said Tanya Salih, co-director of the Colorado Village Collaborative. “It’s really a place where people can build community, set new goals, find new passions.”
Not only is the housing affordable to build, it can become available quickly once they have the land and materials. The current set of houses under construction can be finished in two months.
The additional homes and the community center hope to create more of neighborhood that is inviting for people struggling from homelessness and working toward a more secure future. This phase of the project is expected to finish by the end of the year.
“It allows people to have a sense of community,” Salih said. “We really want to invite everybody to be a part of this movement and this journey.”
The volunteers who want to see this approach to the housing crisis grow say it is not only a concept for the homeless but for all residents in Colorado. Fageeh chose a minimalist living experience that leans on community for herself and now she wants to help others enjoy its benefits. She believes everyone can live with less space and take up less resources like water. She thinks tiny homes teach everyone to value what is most important in their lives.
“I think this is something that can be spread all around Denver and I think people need to be a little more open to the idea,” Fageeh said. “We need to change our perspective on how we view homelessness and how we combat homelessness.”