Starting Human is pleased to submit this proposal for services to support the homeless in Los Angeles in achieving their goals for having a safe place to rest with dignity, purpose and a solid foundation in which to begin their transition from “homeless” back to a societal human. We have partnered with several Businesses and Non Profit Organizations throughout Los Angeles County — People and groups committed to helping the homeless get on their feet, get the services they need and bridge the inhumane gap between the gutter and permanent housing.
Tiny House Shelters are an immediate bridge between the gutter and more permanent housing and are vital to the humane treatment and survival of the human beings in our communities who have lost their place of residence. When conventional means continue to fail, and loss of life is the result, “Out of the Box” thinking and solutions are required in order to succeed.
· Build Tiny House Communities, providing temporary shelters with all necessary amenities for human and societal needs (i.e.: bathrooms, showers, laundry, kitchen, community center, gardens, etc.)
· Provide a stable location for outreach teams and case managers to find their clients when needed to continue their services as well as connect residents with new services that require a stable location.
· Create a new city employment resource, providing jobs and training for the houseless, self-purpose and engage a work force of ambassadors to relieve pressure from many understaffed city departments and personnel.
· To House people in Temporary Shelters, immediately protecting them from the elements, getting them off the streets and placing them in a healthy environment while working towards their goals to reintegrate back into society.
· Providing Tiny House Shelters to house the homeless, bridges the gap between the gutter and permanent housing. It costs a fraction of the money currently spent on police and handles the complex issues surrounding people living on the sidewalks, protects human rights of having a place to rest, and makes the streets clean and safe for everyone.
· The Opportunity to provide a stable location for homeless people (including Veterans) to live and be located by all of the outreach teams, programs, churches and organizations that provide services daily, weekly and monthly and struggle to make contact, or find their clients that they service is unmatched, and puts a stop to the endless cycle of starting over, and saves millions of dollars, countless hours that are wasted and repairs a great deal of a system that is broken.
· Providing community gardens at every Tiny House Community not only teaches people a skill that can be applied to future employment or careers, but it also provides food for their community, gives low income people and families access to fresh produce and vegetables which most currently don’t have access to, and relieves a great strain on the food stamp system.
· Acquire several vacant lots, with a Minimum 10,000 Sq. ft. each. Preferably the lots will contain utilities i.e. Water, Electricity, Sewer already connected to the property. Properties MUST have an existing Address.
· Provide opportunities for the homeless to be directly involved in the construction, layout and formation of their new Tiny House Communities, giving them self-worth, purpose, direction and recognition of their value to their own success.
· Set up donation locations for communities to donate items needed for construction, and for the residents to offset the total costs of the project.
· Build Tiny House Communities to bridge the gap between the gutter and permanent housing. Provide a stable location for organizations and outreach teams to reach and connect with their clients. Connect residents with the services they need to address any issues or challenges they might be facing so they can correct, heal, adapt and be prepared to re-integrate back into society when permanent housing becomes available. Repair the broken bonds of our communities and our citizens, by teaching tolerance, empathy and showing our neighbors how we can all co-exist and thrive together.
The Homeless in Los Angeles have a horrible reputation for being bad people, and for both choosing to be homeless and wanting to stay on the streets. However, the facts of reality are that the majority of those people experiencing homelessness are victims of domestic violence, job loss, the steadily increasing costs of rent and the city’s lack of affordable housing. With the increase of NIMBYISM, economic impacts to communities, and limitations of resources that prevent people from getting out of their situation and back on their feet, things are only going to get worse. The Homeless in Los Angeles face the real possibility of dying on the streets without any shelter, help or protection of their civil rights daily and will, in fact, die unsheltered from the elements if something isn’t done to help them immediately.
In our struggle to battle this humanitarian crisis, understand the core reasons of homelessness, sort through mountains of research data, drudge through all the political red tape, endure endless debates of plans on top of plans and solutions, continuously state the obvious that the housing first model is a proven success and that permanent affordable housing is needed, we have lost a bit of our humanity and forgotten that hundreds of thousands of people are stuck outside, suffering right now with no place to go, and the simplest need for those who are homeless is Shelter.
We, Starting Human and the MYTHPLA Team have developed solutions over the last year to help the homeless get immediately into shelters and off the streets, bridge the gap between the gutter and permanent housing, illuminate the repeating cycle of outreach teams that cannot find their clients they serve and their drain on expenses and manpower trying to locate them, provide resources and training for a multitude of required services that people need to succeed and provide a purpose back to The Homeless in Los Angeles. Our solution is unique, an “outside the box” approach and a temporary starting point that easily integrates with a wide range of current solutions as well as solutions that are still in planning stages without any negative impact, can immediately be engaged with positive results and can enable The Homeless in Los Angeles to fully regain their self-worth and health, nurturing their self-motivation to move forward off the streets and onto the first stepping stone toward re-integration into society. Our solution benefits all of our communities by improved productivity throughout the entire homeless outreach system, returning the streets to a clean and safe environment for everyone, reducing the strain on many city and federal services, improving the quality of life for the homeless in Los Angeles, and boosting the economic impact in our neighborhoods by providing tax paying jobs and useful purpose to the homeless. Most importantly, we provide the training and support for this new solution that ensures organizations, groups, volunteers, communities, or anyone taking part in the solution, can ramp up quickly, get involved, be productive, adapt, implement and realize solid improvements and progress towards the end result of people obtaining permanent housing.
Although fixing the entire situation of “homelessness” can be a complicated, long and exhausting challenge, the core of what is truly needed is quite simple, Shelter. When the risks of leaving people to fend for themselves without shelter in the elements, or personal hygiene services such as bathrooms or showers, and while waiting for red tape to be cut and permanent housing solutions to be planned, approved, financed and implemented, results in the loss of life and unchecked disease, then those risks have become too great and could end up causing a mass epidemic health catastrophe if nothing is done to immediately change course. With our unique capabilities and solutions, we can achieve a positive course of action and prevent these catastrophes before they multiply and prevent any further unnecessary loss of life and health risks to the community.
At times the homeless situation can be very frustrating and complicated. From mental issues to drug and alcohol addictions, trust issues to incarcerations, depression and anxiety to medical problems, lost Id’s, court cases, broken promises and just a pure lack of progress or change, makes things incredibly difficult for everyone, service people and the houseless to not only handle the situation but to also find solid motivation to press forward.
Besides the obvious that people need shelter, and that our Tiny House Shelters are extremely cheap to produce and deploy, they provide a temporary bridge between the gutter and permanent housing and work in line with the housing first model. There is so much more needed and necessary than just providing these shelters and in order to begin or start with any program you must first reach out to the people you intend to provide service to. In order to successfully reach people, especially those who have many walls or barriers to break through, you need to come with the right tools for the job. One of the most important tools and keystones to addressing this crisis and that has been missing from the equation, which can be used to reach people, awaken their drive, refuel self-worth and dignity and provide self-motivation, is the psychological factor of human beings. The most important part missing for people, simply put, is PURPOSE.
Why is a Sense of purpose so essential for our well-being? For starters, we all have at least 1 purpose in life. The need for purpose defines characteristics of human beings. Human beings crave purpose, and suffer serious psychological difficulties when we don’t have it. Purpose is a fundamental component of a fulfilling life. When we don’t have a sense of purpose in our lives, it makes us more vulnerable to boredom, anxiety and depression. And particularly if we have an addictive personality it can make us vulnerable to substance abuse. Alcohol or drugs are, of course, a way of alleviating psychological discord, but at the same time they can be seen as a way of gaining a very basic sense of purpose: to satisfy your addiction.
On the other hand, having a strong sense of purpose can have a powerful positive effect. When you have a sense of purpose, you never get up in the morning wondering what you’re going to do with yourself. When you’re ‘in purpose’ — that is, engaged with and working towards your purpose — life becomes easier, less complicated and stressful. You become more mono-focused, like an arrow flying towards its target, and your mind feels somehow taut and strong, with less space for negativity to seep in.
It is well established that a sense of purpose is necessary for psychological health, and in turn, for human adaptation and survival. If life did not seem worth it, our ancestors may have given up on running from the lion. If depressed, they may have been less enthusiastic about mating. Human evolution depends on our motivation and our will to survive, our feeling that life always remains worth the effort.
The consistent finding from studies measuring the experience of meaningfulness is that most people say that their lives have meaning and purpose. Anything necessary for survival has to be abundant in nature. A trout needs more than just a bucket of water.
The research shows that “social exclusion” reliably leads to lower ratings on meaningful existence and that social connections enhance the experience. If being accepted by a tribe is all it takes to heighten the emotion, a sense of meaningfulness must not be hard to come by.
In a world of seasons, sunrises and sunsets, we construct an orderly existence with everyday routines and daily rituals. In that context, it is reasonable to expect people to feel that their existence is in harmony with the natural order.
But remove that context, and delete everyday routines, daily rituals, positive social interaction and connections, self-worth and meaning, you will be left vulnerable and stuck outside the natural order of things and find it very difficult to find harmony anywhere in your daily life. Without Purpose we have nothing to drive us, motivate or bring the sense of importance and belonging to our lives. We live in a world that generally is characterized by natural regularity, and our experience is enhanced by the presence of reliable patterns or coherence in the environment.
When our ordinary needs are satisfied, we tend to seek more. It is in our nature to search out ultimate pleasures and exquisite flavors. Some people find the next level of meaning in religious enlightenment. Others reach for self-awareness, personal fulfillment or self-actualization. Some people turn inward, others reach out.
If we cannot create the opportunities for people to regain or find purpose, then nothing will change because it is essential to our health, we are continuously motivated to seek the experience of purpose and meaning.
· Alignment with other programs
The Tiny House Project and its proposed communities not only align with the “housing first model”, a proven success which moves a houseless individual or household immediately from the streets or homeless shelters into their own apartments, and costs a 1/3 less of the money it currently costs to manage those who are houseless on the streets, but also aligns with and supports every organization that currently provides human services by providing a stable and sustainable location for their houseless clients to be found, to work with, so postal services can be utilized so houseless individuals can receive the vital documents they need, and to assure greater efficiency in existing programs that are struggling to break the starting over cycle of “client can’t be found. Which overall saves millions of dollars and countless hours of wasted time and resources.
Much of our community program is based off the expertise and experience of Portland Oregon’s Dignity Village. A 15 year running, self-governed tiny house-village model which has a number of advantages for everyone, particularly for homeless people, but also for taxpayers and businesses.
· Purpose and advantages
An urban Tiny House Community offers an alternative method that is preferable to many homeless people, provides a starting point and bridge between the current gutter and the future permanent housing and is beneficial for the broader community as well, and offers many advantages, including the following:
· Community residents gain a sense of community and human connection
· Community residents enjoy a much safer environment, especially women, elderly and
people with disabilities and/or special needs
· Community residents are able to form stable affinity groups and longer-term relationships
· Community residents get to have pets
· Community residents gain the ability to live with spouses or intimate partners
· Community residents find a sense of place, privacy, and personal space
· Community residents recover from institutional dependency
· Community residents enjoy a community-supported sanctuary from being criminalized due to
very low economic status
· Community residents work together to maintain a drug and alcohol free environment
· Community residents use their skills, and are encouraged to be enterprising and industrious
· Community Residents gain self-worth, skills and purpose participating in the growth and management of community gardens which will help feed the community
· Community residents develop communication and leadership skills through involvement in the
· Business owners find less homeless people (not to mention their leavings) in their doorways, alley’s and parking lots
· The streets become a clean and safer environment for everyone
· Taxpayers sleep better nights knowing that a very cost-effective and humane strategy
for addressing Houselessness has begun, paving the way towards permanent housing and easing the strain on public officials
Our execution strategy incorporates psychological methodologies, extremely motivated and caring personnel, and directly involves the houseless individuals who are to reside in each community. Every person who has a desire to better themselves, regain their purpose in life, get off the streets, contribute to society and work towards their goals to obtain a place to live, work and to heal themselves are given the resources, opportunity and most importantly a solid foundation to start from. Without providing a solid foundation, resources and a safe place to start from, change or progress cannot be achieved.
There is no dignity or self-worth in living on the streets, being shunned by society and treated like a filthy animal. By offering a starting solution that gives people a place to call home, a safe place to rest, the resources they need, the security of privacy and an opportunity to be a part of creating their own communities, it returns their dignity and self-worth, their hope for the future, and ignites them in self-motivation and desire as it becomes an option and opportunity that can be on their own terms.
From the caves to a camp, a village to a town, an outpost or a compound, a co-op or a city, and even a metropolis, the most successful and most desired communities to live in today and throughout history, are those that work together for the benefit of all. Our strategy is the same as the proven success of the housing first model, but ads a starting point, a crucial step in the process, which can be engaged immediately especially in areas experiencing humanitarian crisis levels of houseless individuals and when the resources and/or process of providing, obtaining or building permanent housing is weeks, months and even years away from being ready to deploy.
Tiny House Shelters are very portable and can be built on site or off location, then moved into place on site and can also be easily tailored for special needs of the resident. Once a community site has been selected, our crews can assemble and begin planning the layout of the site. Each and every Community will be a “Living Art” project that will not only provide a unique artistic environment that will inspire current and future artists and beautify the neighborhood, but will contain community gardens that will benefit both the residents of the Tiny House Communities and the surrounding neighborhoods, by bringing fresh organic produce to so many people who simply don’t have access to it, and will help save people’s lives by creating a new sustainable future for everyone.
Tiny House Communities functions as a dynamic self-help environment that provide a participatory
framework for supporting each other, while simultaneously encouraging individual
residents to more effectively help themselves at a personal level. This occurs through
involvement that builds community among the people going through the process together.
As the Community Residents build themselves as a community, they will also build the physical
Community as a reflection of their collective process with one another. This will enable them
to move through the developmental phases in a way that reflects a profound awareness of
the importance and value of civic participation. As a transitional mechanism, Community Members
will not only become able to stand on their own feet out in the world; they will also be
making a substantial contribution to their larger social context, illustrating to others how
to build community, having developed a place for their own that is highly
livable and sustainable.
On-site, human scale construction of basic buildings, provide an ideal opportunity for
residents to apply their skills and participation in a meaningful and
constructive way, to literally build lasting value and functional live/work spaces and
structures into their own environment, from the ground up.
Our Communities are poised to become a unique environment for synergistically addressing two critical
social issues at once — Houselessness and the Stigma of People unwilling to work and contribute to society — issues that are normally addressed quite separately. Through a hands-on process of involvement,
our communities will enable Government agencies, social service providers, educational
institutions, and private citizens to exchange knowledge and resources directly in a
context of learning and teaching that will produce social and environmental benefits for
the whole of society.
From a proven perspective, houseless people who have internalized a strong
vision for creating a sustainable live/work environment are ideally situated to
demonstrate to the larger, more conventionally-housed, community how much can be
accomplished using very little in terms of material wealth or resources. Somewhat
ironically, this is true precisely because houseless people have already been conditioned –
albeit through unfortunate necessity — to make the best use of the very limited resources
at their disposal.
SITE FEATURES AND DEVELOPMENT PHASES
· Site Features
o Laundry Facilities
o Bathrooms & Shower Facilities
o Kitchen with Composting & Recycling
o Organic Gardens
o Green Houses
o Rain Water Collection
o Teaching, Meeting, and Work/Art Spaces
o Fire Pit
o Bike Racks
o Energy Generation /Solar Panels & Wind Turbines
o Security Station
o Mail Center
o Computer Center
o Meditation / Sacred Area
o Donation and Distribution area
o Community Living Art
o Exercise Area
· Phase I
o Property Preparation (clearing of physical land, weeds, overgrowth, junk, Connection or Servicing of utilities etc.)
o Staging of Construction Materials and Receivables, tools etc.
o Community Planning, Living Art Design, Site Layout, Location for Community Gardens
o Hold meetings for Resident applications, Rules, Membership, guidelines and Community Procedures with future residents and community team builders
o Arrange working relationships with partner organizations and service providers
o Develop additional micro-enterprise activities for employment and sales to the public uniquely tailored the skill sets of each community
o Complete Preparation of all things “Legally” related (permits, insurance, zoning, liability, utilities etc)
· Phase II
o Signing of agreements, leases and related documents
o Schedule Volunteers and New Community Members for Build Events
o Begin Construction of Tiny Houses, Community Buildings, Landscaping, Site Layout, Community Gardens and Living Art
o End of Day/Weekly Meetings for Progress Reporting and Next Day Planning
o Functioning system of self-governance with successful leadership training program
o Engage support system with service provider organizations
o Begin farming and planting of community garden crops
o Connect all remaining utilities required for community habitation
o Site infrastructure including emergency services access, parking/guest access, handicap accessibility, residential pathways, fire extinguishers, emergency evacuation procedures
· Phase III
o Final confirmation of residents, partnered service providers, community safety and compliance check, community procedures, maintenance and security
o Roll call and resident move in preparation
o Set Calendar date for Community Launch and Move in Day Activities
· Phase IV
o Move-In Day / Community Ground Breaking Ceremony / New Beginnings BBQ
· CODES AND ZONING ISSUES
It should be understood that the advice and approval of governing agencies will be sought
and secured for all aspects of the project. This includes the bureaus of fire, police,
building, sanitation, water, environmental services and others that will help shape the
development of the project. Any and all permits that are required will be obtained as well as any required building codes will be followed.
· Site Access
Tiny House Community sites must adhere to minimum fire department width of street/driveway codes for emergency access. The road will be improved with a base and paving that is sufficient to
support the load of fire vehicles if required. While fire hydrants are located along city streets an
additional hydrant may be required onsite, and if so, should be installed in the first phase of the project. Additional hydrants, if required, will be added as the project develops.
· Configuration of Site
It is intended that the site will be developed from the outset in general conformance with
the plan herein. The plan proposes pathways that divide the area into sectors that
are sized to accommodate Mobile Tiny Houses, in the first phase, that are separated by a minimum of
five feet from each other. Eventually permanent structures will be developed along these
pathways. The pathways will be developed to allow access for those with disabilities.
There are many people experiencing Houselessness who are confined to wheelchairs or are in some way with a challenging handicap so accessibility must be a requirement of the development.
During the initial phase of the development of the proposed site the Tiny House Community will rely on
portable restrooms and shower facilities and a central cooking tent if these facilities do not already exist. The first building construction effort will be directed toward providing permanent restrooms and showers
along with a central kitchen and dining area that can be easily maintained. Sewer and
water service to the site will be sized and installed with a view to the ultimate development of the property.
· Building Construction
Any new building construction will be carried out in strict accordance with the Uniform
Building Code, National Electrical Code, the Uniform Fire Code and the Uniform
Mechanical Code as Required. It is intended that the residents, with supervision by those skilled in
building construction, will take an active part in building the Community. The buildings will
be designed, with the full participation of the community, by design professionals who
are conversant with code requirements.
While the initial phase of the Village will be dependent on temporary electrical service, it
is envisioned that the permanent structures can be models of energy independence. Water
heating will be done, primarily, with solar. Photovoltaic panels will generate electricity
with assistance from wind or other alternative sources of energy.
· Health and Security
Permanent Building Construction will include a room or rooms for emergency medical attention or who may be ill. A positive feature of this site is the fact that it is not readily accessible from any point along its
perimeter. The project plan will include fencing as necessary to maintain a safe environment for the residents. Gateways will be prominently located and will be sized to allow emergency and handicapped access.
· Fire Safety
While fire issues will be addressed by Code Requirements as the project develops,
Fire Extinguishers, prominently located on poles and the residents will be instructed in their use.
· SELF-GOVERNANCE SYSTEM
Tiny House Communities are organically evolving self-governed communities. Many elements of
effective self-governance will be already in place; others will be drafted and will be
refined and implemented as the Community obtains greater stability. The aspects of self-governance
addressed in this section are:
o Use of a Community Roll of residents (each being linked to tasks and to numbered
o Tiny House locations), community security
o Standardized intake and exit procedures, and basic rules of the community
o The election and role of field coordinators
o An elected community Council
o Leadership structure, lines of communications, and approach to emergencies
o Resident turnover
o Supportive partnerships with other organizations
· Community Roll
It is vital for Tiny House Communities to keep track of who is living there at all times. To this end,
a Community Roll is being developed of all people who live on site. This will be
maintained to serve several vital functions:
o To keep hard numbers on Community population that can be recorded and used to
identify trends and needs among current and past residents.
o To Encourage Strong Communities by helping residents know each other and who their neighbors are.
o To establish who the voting members are for both elections and Community decision
Legal Birth Names will be mandatory to be on file in order to stay in the Community, for legal and emergency purposes. However, legal or birth names will not be required for public community roll, although it will be encouraged. Community Photo ID cards will also be created in conjunction with the roll for community security and community outreach purposes.
· Community Security
A significant hardship of living on the street is the necessity of carrying key personal
possessions everywhere. This constant encumbrance makes it extremely difficult to
obtain employment, find shelter, and get necessary services. To address this issue, part of
the mission of Tiny House Communities is to create a place where residents and their belongings can be
safe and secure. To help address this issue, a 24-hour security rotation is maintained to patrol
the site, with an eye towards insuring the safety of persons and possessions. This security
rotation may be partially made up of residents who volunteer time as their schedules allow. Community
Security has the basic responsibilities of greeting and logging all visitors, walking the
perimeter and logging any suspicious activity, logging all incoming contributions, and
monitoring and logging any police visits. A Community log is maintained as a record of all
activities and contributions.
· Intake and Exit Procedures
The Community population is regulated through its intake and exit procedures. The intake
process consists of the following 3 steps:
o Each person who wishes to join the Community reads and fills out a Community Contract,
or Admittance Agreement.
o The prospective member is then interviewed by an authorized community
representative to ensure they are fully aware of the workings and rules of the
program and community.
o Provided the applicant is agreeable, they then sign the Admittance Agreement to
document their agreement with the mission and rules of the community.
Children under the age of 18 will not be admitted without their legal parents/guardian. Underage
Children who are alone, are referred to programs serving runaway/street youth, or youth specific shelters.
All residents agree to adhere to four basic rules
o No drugs of alcohol on site.
o No violence toward yourself or others.
o No stealing.
o Everyone contributes to keep the community clean and sanitary.
These rules are enforced on a “one strike, next out” basis and all residents agree at move-in
to leave voluntarily if found in violation of these rules. However, exit procedures will be
in place to ensure safe and prompt removal of any disagreeable members. The exit
procedure will follow a simple chain of events:
o Rule violation is logged and reported, including names of security and/or other
witnesses to the incident and other relevant information.
o Those found to be in violation will be promptly reminded of the Admittance
Agreement and given a set time to exit the Community with their belongings.
o If resident is not out of the community by that time, the police will be called to assist with the
exit, based on trespass laws.
o The entire procedure will be logged and reported by security.
o All exits can be appealed to the Community Council.
· Field Coordinators
From among the voting members established on the Community Roll, coordinators are elected
(by all voting residents) to positions that facilitate the day-to-day functioning of the
Community. Currently, these positions include coordinators for trash and sanitation, recycling,
tiny house and population, micro-enterprise development, and security; but other positions may
be added in the future as needed to insure the smooth functioning of the Village. Field
Coordinators are allowed to live in the community indefinitely to act as a grounding and
stabilizing influence upon a larger more fluid population. Field Coordinators will be
eligible to serve on the Community Council, once formed, and participate in facilitating weekly Council meetings.
· Community Council
A Community Council is to be formed in the near future to serve as a governing body that will
vote on all proposals that concern the vision, mission and financial security of the community. The makeup of the Council will reflect the physical makeup of the Community. It
will include elected Field Representatives, Tiny House Group Delegates and Sponsor/Supporter
Representatives (in either a voting or non-voting capacity).
Each Tiny House Group of residents will have a delegate seated on the Community Council. This Group
Delegate will be responsible for attending all Council meetings in order to effectively
represent the consensus of opinions, concerns and proposed solutions being put forth by
residents of their home Group.
Representatives of core sponsoring organizations and/or key individual supporters, may
also be designated to serve on the Community Council to provide a broader community
perspective on Community issues, but this is an issue that is still under consideration.
These sponsor seats would equal the number of Field Coordinator seats and have equal voting power.
The Village Council will consist of all Group Delegates, Field Coordinators and Sponsor
seats (either voting or non-voting). They will hold weekly, public meetings where all
decisions that concern the future of the Community will be proposed, discussed, and decided.
Council meetings would be open for all Community residents in good standing to attend as
· Leadership and Lines of Communication
As with any democratic self-management system, leadership responsibilities are
intentionally “held lightly” and periodically rotated to insure that new leaders are
constantly being identified, trained and cultivated. This is crucial for the governance
system to be experienced by community members as being “open” to as much constructive
participation as people are prepared to bring, and for the Community over time to keep
integrity with its own claims to being a self-governed community. At the same time, it is
necessary for outsiders (including supporters, supporting organizations, municipal
authorities, etc.) to know specifically which individuals are responsible for what,
especially in cases of emergency. To accommodate this need, the current names and
contact information of Field Coordinators and of core sponsoring organization(s) will be
posted (noting key roles, such as security, trash and sanitation, etc.) on the community bulletin
board in meeting area at the community site.
In Case of Emergency:
We realize that it is especially important for police, fire, building code officials, or other
civic authorities to know who to contact in cases of emergency. To accommodate this
need, a current list of current Field Representatives (along with cell phone number of
the Community leaders) and names and contact information for sponsoring organizations will be
provided to the Fire and Police Departments, and will be available to any other
municipal departments on request. This list will be updated with authorities on an as needed
basis by Field Coordinators and sponsoring organizations.
Like any housing development, there will be inevitable fluctuations in the number of
Tiny House residents over time. Most residents will move on to permanent housing;
some will join the internal operations core group, and some may relocate away from
the area. However, the combination of socio-economic forces and bad luck that push so
many people into Houselessness is not going away any time soon. So for the foreseeable
future, especially given the popularity of this approach with Houseless people themselves,
there will undoubtedly continue to be people who will move into Tiny House Communities as
Resources, both those contributed by outside sources and those generated by community members,
are carefully managed by the Community, and will be managed with greater structure as the
Community solidifies and evolves. Resources the Community handles include, but are not limited to food, water, donated building materials, recycling, tents, cash funds, and other resources.
· Food and Water
Community members benefit from a large number of generous donations from
churches, schools, companies, and private individuals. Donated Food and Water is communal, is
overseen by a Kitchen Field Coordinator, and is stored in the Kitchen area where all may
access it for meal preparation. Individual Community Members may also obtain food boxes or donations
through other social service agencies, and can devise systems of sharing their food where it is
needed. Future resource development includes developing a relationship with local Food Banks, and other Tiny House Communities.
Each Community will develop a recycling program based on individual collection, community usage and outreach to local businesses who have given permission to the Community to collect their recycling. The Field Coordinator of Recycling oversees the management and upkeep of this resource, and the funds from the program go to buy necessities for the community such as toilet paper, cleaning and garden supplies.
· Cash Funds
When there is inadequate opportunity to gain a necessary resource through
donations or barter, the Community collectively votes to allocate funds from the Community bank account, managed by Starting Human. This fund is replenished with generous donations, and through the fundraising efforts of the Community.
· Other Resources
Other resources, such as donated clothing and other goods, are managed by the Donations Field Coordinator, and are equally allocated. Extra bounty experienced by the Community is shared with other Tiny House Communities in need and/or the larger houseless community when the opportunity arises.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
One of the missions of a Tiny House Community is to be as autonomous and financially self-supporting
as possible. Each community will strive to accomplish this and make substantial progress in this
direction. However, we recognize that, at least during the early stages of development, it
will be necessary to maintain a set of key collaborative relationships with appropriate
organizations to ensure that adequate technical support and resources are available and that all
due diligence requirements are met. The following describes a division of roles and
responsibilities between the Tiny House Community and its key partners that maintains a balance
between the community’s desire for autonomy and potential need for external support in this
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Tiny House Community
• Establish and maintain a system of democratic self-governance
• Design, implement, and enforce a Membership Agreement policy
• “Task out” the work necessary to maintain a safe, secure, sanitary living environment
• Secure the resources (food, money, materials, labor…) necessary to live in a safe and sanitary manner.
• Develop cooperative micro-enterprises
• Help Community Members mediate internal or external conflicts
• Support an environment of clear communication at Community meetings
• Help Community Members to establish relationships with third-party service providers (such as mobile medical clinics, housing providers)
Core Support Organizations
• Help Community Members mediate internal or external conflicts
• Support an environment of clear communication at Community meetings
• Assist the Community in dealing with transition issues when members of the core leadership group come and go
• Provide leadership development and advocacy training to Village residents
• Provide backup resources and services when needed
• Help with community development, self-governance, community guidance, and sustainability.
• Mediate and assist a smooth operation between Service Providers, housing authorities, CES and the Community.
• Provide Services and/or Resource Referrals for Counseling, Treatment or Other Services Community Members Need to begin healing and work towards re-integration into society and permanent housing.
RELATIONSHIP WITH NEIGHBORS
Strong emphasis will be placed on connecting the Community to its surroundings, not cutting
it off. It is important to the success of the Community that it be a good neighbor to those who
live and work nearby. Furthermore, it is equally as important for surrounding communities to be a part of the success and work in harmony with each community. Creating Community Gardens is a great first step in the process of Tiny House Communities working with the surrounding neighbors by bringing both communities together to benefit from Fresh Locally Grown Organic Produce, that many communities currently don’t have access too.
· Physical relationship to neighborhood
The Tiny House Community will be fundamentally different in appearance and organization from other
types of housing found. Although the Community will not look much like its immediate surroundings, we believe that it will be recognized as a positive addition to the neighborhood as well as a beautiful Living Art Property that will inspire and uplift any neighborhood.
As with any type of housing, the Community will include a range of spaces, from public to
private. The Community will have vital edges and gardens, porches, gateways and public
spaces that will offer a unique experience to immediate neighbors and visitors from other
parts of the city. The public spaces within or abutting the Community will be comfortable
spaces for visitors and residents to use and enjoy, while more private areas within the
Community will be reserved for residents.
· Ongoing communication with neighbors
At all potential Community sites, we will visit all immediate neighbors to discuss concerns or
questions, and resolve any misunderstandings, about the community’s presence. Beyond that,
we also offer to provide services such as cleaning or security to local businesses and neighborhoods. It has been proven that in other cities with Tiny House Communities that crime and vandalism have decreased and overall community health and happiness surrounding the Tiny House Communities has risen.
As an organization, the Community will continue to establish and maintain close
communications and a positive relationship with new neighbors at any future
location(s), wherever located. To this end, the Community will identify a resident
representative who will serve as the primary contact person and liaison with neighbors. If
requested, the Community will voluntarily work with neighbors to develop more formal Good
Neighbor Agreements as well.
DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE: RESIDENT-SUPPORTER SKILL BASE
Tiny House Community Residents, Supporters and Partner Organizations bring a wealth of hands-on
community development experience, experience working creatively with homeless
issues, direct experience with being homeless, and a wide range of hands-on construction
work skills. Since Tiny House Communities are self-managed, they draw substantially
on the skills of the people who live there, working in close collaboration with a core group
of supporters from the broader community. The following detailed information is
provided to illustrate the depth, breadth and texture of the skill base and professional
experience of the People in waiting for their community.
· Resident Skill Base
Tiny House contracts/admittance agreement includes a section describing resident employment or work-related skills, which is useful both for organizing on-site work and for implementing micro-enterprise start-ups.
Residents are people from diverse backgrounds and will have a wide range of hands-on work skills that
will easily translate into a substantial sweat-equity asset throughout the development
phases, and/or micro-enterprise development. A sampling of such skills includes:
o Business management
o Cabinet maker
o Ceramic tile work
o Computer skills
o Computer/copier/printer repair
o June, 2001
o Concrete work
o Construction & landscaping
o Electronics/laser optics
o Fax/cash register trouble-shoot/repair
o Fence builder
o General carpentry
o General contracting
o Real estate marketing
o Repair/rebuilding refrigerators
o Restaurant management
o Rock wall builder
o Stone & rock walls, steps and surfacing work
The Housing Crisis and Houseless Population have reached dangerous levels becoming a full blown Humanitarian Crisis. Unless Drastic immediate action is taken, and relief brought to already over taxed and insufficient resources, the situation will rapidly increase and worsen, not only for those already houseless, but for new families, Veterans, Men, Woman and Children who are but one step away from losing their homes, as well as epidemic levels of disease and outbreaks which have already surfaced and will soon reach the general population and all communities.
Tiny House Communities can bring about change in our communities to support human life and the way humanity has slipped away from taking care of each other as a species, prevent a local and global health catastrophe, strengthen our economies, rebuild communities and bridge the gap for the houseless between the gutter and permanent housing, until better cost effective solutions can be made a reality.
We look forward to working with many people collectively in part or in whole in this innovative, low-cost, sustainable, temporary solution which can immediately save lives, repair many broken bridges between communities, save money and prevent further catastrophic epidemic problems before they happen.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this proposal, methods, Tiny House Communities or any other related questions, please feel free to ask and begin dialog so we can address them as soon as possible in order to keep moving forward and help the millions of citizens who are stuck suffering tonight and every night until something is done.
Please direct any Inquiries to Elvis Summers, CEO and Founder of Starting Human at the contact info below. Thank You!
Starting Human / MYTHPLA
2202 S Figueroa St. #155
Los Angeles CA 90007