It was one of the first homeless tent camps in the nation to transition into a community of tiny houses. Three years later, residents at Quixote Village say being a part of a community has given them a new lease on life.
Tucked into an industrial complex a few miles from Washington state’s capitol building in Olympia is a ring of 30 tiny houses, each 144 square feet, about the size of a small U-Haul trailer.
This collection of well-tended dwellings is Quixote Village. Opened on Christmas Eve, 2013, it was an early experiment in using miniature homes to house the homeless, a model that has since been copied around the country.
While few see tiny houses as a cure for an epidemic of homelessness that has plagued West Coast cities, for the residents of Quixote Village, these dwellings have been a godsend.
“It’s been a new lease on life,” says Byron Thorpe, one of the community’s original residents. “It was something I didn’t think I’d ever have a chance at again. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been alive these last two or three years.”
The Tiny Town Association plans to work with municipalities to provide affordable housing as well as socially assisted housing to help members of each community transition into tiny home ownership. Our model has program participants living in communities of tiny homeowners. The community will be able to provide a way for those living without, due to circumstance, to see how those living without by choice have a similar lifestyle, but a different perspective. The community is expected to provide a comforting transition process for selected participants.