Camp Quixote is a self-governing tent community of about 30 homeless adults located in Olympia, Washington. It’s supported by Panza, a local non-profit organization, and recently became home to 30 tiny prefab homes, each of which cost $19,000 to build. The village is just one of many microhouse projects that have started to attract attention recently, and could provide a solution for many of the homeless people on the streets across America.
Residents moved into the houses on Christmas Eve last year, and have access to a large vegetable garden and community buildings that contains showers, laundry facilities, and a communal kitchen. There is also space where residents can socialize and eat dinner together, which maintains relationships and common values amongst the once-homeless residents.
According to the Quixote Village website, the total cost to build the Village was $3.05 million. This includes permits, fees, required road improvements, infrastructure, and other expenses that gives each of the cottages an actual cost of $87,789. This is compared to $200,000, which the website says is the average cost for studio apartments for low-income people.
As pointed out by Gizmodo, a local builder named Gary Pickering in Provo, Utah, has another idea – wheeled cabins. He calls them Dignity Roller Pods, which provide a mobile solution for the homeless, but also give owners a way to express themselves. His idea is based on the use of public lands, and because he publishes his designs for other people to use, it also provides a more open-source way to try and tackle the issue of homelessness.
The issue of homelessness needs to be tackled at a societal level before any real progress can be made when it comes to the logistics. It’s good to know however that fresh ideas are out there, and that people continue to try and help each other, even in the face of a society that supports the idea of self-reliance at the expense of others.