Charleston volunteers are now building a tiny house for the homeless, and are hoping that if this first prototype is successful, the initiative will then be launched on a larger scale.
The home is being built by a newly established non-profit group, known as “Tiny House For For a King”, whose purpose is to provide those who are destitute with a safer alternative to sleeping in tents and other temporary abodes.
As explained by Jerry Godus, one of the city’s homeless, having no place of your own and being forced to sleep in the street is a horrific experience, causing extreme stress and leading people to live in constant fear for their lives.
That’s why the initiative of building miniature houses, fit for just one person, appears much-needed and praiseworthy.
William Hamilton, who is currently coordinating the entire project, has assembled a team of Charleston residents who are now working alongside homeless people, with the ultimate purpose of building a “tiny house” prototype at 342 North Nassau Street.
As explained by Hamilton, the structure is being built out of scraps of wood and lumber that has been donated by volunteers such as Jessy Harper, one of the founders of the Operation Veterans Relief charity.
All in all, there is so much material available, that several dozens of tiny portable houses could be erected, if only local authorities were cooperative enough.
At first, the aim was to construct and exhibit the building on a parcel of land owned by the South Carolina Department of Transportation. However, given that officials rejected this proposal, a compromise was found on Friday, January 15.
According to the agreement reached by the two parties, the structure will have to be built by Monday, January 18, with the project team being allowed to access this city property between 8:00 a.m. and 7 p.m, under the obligation of keeping it clean and tidy at all times.
The temporary structure’s height isn’t allowed to surpass 10 feet, and its dimensions mustn’t exceed 8 x 12 feet.
Provided that construction works are finalized in this weekend prior to Martin Luther King Day, those in charge with the “Tiny House Fit for a King” initiative will have to relinquish rights concerning the home to Charleston’s local authorities starting from Tuesday, January 19.
Officials will then transport the portable house to another location, where they will examine the temporary structure more thoroughly and assess its functionality and viability.
The analysis will be one of the main highlights of the upcoming Blue Ribbon Citizens Panel on Homelessness and hopefully the project will be considered practical enough in order to be extended across the city.
So far, Jack O’Toole, who serves as a spokesperson for Charleston’s mayor John Tecklenburg, has expressed admiration for this community initiative, declaring it an important first step in countering homelessness.
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