Building Tiny Homes With And For People Without Homes
UPDATE: For a limited time all donations up to $500 will be matched. (See below)
Occupy Madison Inc is a nonprofit with a history of working with and for persons experiencing homelessness in our community. Together, we have worked to get a permanent comprehensive day resource center, better shelter rules, safer places to sleep at night, as well as access to restrooms, showers, laundry and other basic needs for people experiencing homelessness. However, to date our most exciting project has been OM Build, launched in June 2013. OM Build members and community volunteers are building 99 sq ft houses on wheels that can be parked on the street (if moved frequently). We have been searching for solutions that fit within our community laws and have finally found a solution that is affordable! Our tiny houses cost $5,000 in materials and supplies. We used recycled pallet wood where possible and several businesses have contributed items for our houses. All labor is volunteer labor, occupants of the tiny houses are expected to contribute hundreds of hours of sweat equity to earn the right to live in the houses. We are in the process of buying land to build a tiny village where we can park our houses and for our workshop. We are also hoping to have gardens, and a place to sell our OM Goods. We are looking to build a small eco-village in our community as an example of more sustainable ways to live as well as a way to end homelessness. Our project will take substantial initial investment to get off the ground as we grow into economic stability. It takes a community to raise a village! Your contribution will be well spent as we create tiny homes to help end homelessness, one tiny home at a time.
If we raise $50,000 we can build 10 homes for people currently experiencing homelessness. These homes can be plugged in to the grid, have solar power for lights and small appliances. They have a composting toilet, an internal water system for washing hands or brushing teeth as well as a vented propane heater and substantial insulation for warmth! Most importantly, these houses provide safety, a place to store items, a bed to sleep in and a place to call home! The sense of pride in helping to build the home is priceless. About $3500 will be spent on materials and the remaining money is spent on the toilet, heater and building the frame for the house to sit on. In exchange for your contribution you can get buttons, bumper stickers or t-shirts - but we also have hand made goods for higher dollar amounts, pallet coaster for your drinks, garden stakes, flower boxes and more, made by members of our group out of recycled pallet wood. The more money we raise, the more houses we can build! The less people experiencing homelessness we will have in these cold Wisconsin winters! As an extra added bonus All donations until March 24th, 2014 or
$10,000 is reached will be matched by a group of generous supporters. All individual donations up $500 will be matched.
$5 = $10
$10 = $20
$25 = $50
$50 = $100
$250 = $500
$100 = $200
$500 = $1000
Help End Homelessness One Tiny House at a Time!
There are at least 500 chronically homeless individual men and women in Madison, Wisconsin. Finding housing is incredibly difficult in our rental market where the rents are high and there are few (2%) vacancies. Competition for this housing is fierce and recent statewide landlord-tenant law changes have made it harder to find housing. A single financial emergency that led to an eviction in the past, could lead to long-term homelessness due the current market. Having a job and being able to afford a place to live are sadly no longer guarantees of being able to access housing. Affordable Housing options in our community have long waiting lists (4 months - 1 year or more), section 8 waiting lists have been closed for years and even City of Madison closed most of their public housing waiting lists. The first people moved into their home right before Christmas. A second house is nearly half complete and the redesigned (we learned a lot!) house is in its beginning stages. With your help, we can keep building houses for our new village! (More info here.)
Other Ways You Can Help
Thank you if you can contribute! However, if you can't, we need your support in other ways! If you are in the Madison area you can volunteer. You can also let us use your name as a public supporter. Like us on Facebook. And of course, one of the best things you can do at this point so we can raise more money is to share the news of this campaign with your friends, co-workers, family, acquaintances and everyone else you know! The more people who know, the more we can grow, the more people we can help earn their way out of homelessness!