Join us in launching the Tiny Houses, Big Feelings pilot program as a form of direct action around housing in Portland, Maine!
Many people in Portland are experiencing homelessness. Not everyone fits in with the shelter model. Maine needs additional strategies to help provide critical housing. Take action now to help support a pilot project to provide tiny homes to and quickly get people housed.
We are fundraising for 2 homes, which will house 2 individuals and will cost about $20,000 per house. This project is entirely volunteer run and all proceeds will go directly toward building costs, legal work, insurance, and other costs directly associated with getting people housed.
Solutions driven by the right people.
People experiencing homelessness are leading the process of creating housing solutions, in collaboration with Tiny Homes of Maine, Build Maine, and other local and regional partners. Tiny Homes of Maine will be contributing pro-bono construction services, which is allowing us to keep costs low, but we need additional financial support to pay for building materials, legal costs, and insurance.
As we launch this Pilot project, we have two individuals who are ready to be housed! Please help us provide these folks with a home as soon as possible.
A home for Kai.
Kai has been dealing with homelessness on and off since their early teens. Home wasn’t safe so they were constantly running away to find safe places. Kai has never had a substance abuse problem but is constantly dealing with how to manage life amidst housing challenges.
Currently 26 years old, Kai does activism with Portland Housing Coalition and wants to help trafficked women. “People have no idea how hard it is to live on the concrete and without a stable house. It is not impossible to have a job and be homeless, it is just really hard.”
There was a time when Kai was homeless and slept in a used car lot. The owner discovered Kai and said, “you can keep sleeping in my cars, but you have to be out by 5 am and you can’t smoke.” This act of kindness enabled Kai to get enough sleep to work a job.
But Kai said “do you know how terrifying it is to live in a car in a city, and having to worry about a job on top of it. Having a tiny house would enable me to live a life.” By prioritizing the needs of all people, we can create a safe space for Kai.
Solutions that meet real human needs.
Tiny houses provide needed shelter, security, stability, and safety for people who are trying to move their lives forward. They offer tremendous benefits over tents – they are safe, weatherproof, and lockable. And they can serve as critical transitional housing for people who don’t have access to permanent housing, who aren’t safe and comfortable in group living environments, or who are not yet ready for permanent housing through local housing-first initiatives. Tiny houses are an important additional path for people to reclaim their independence and get on a path to more permanent housing.
The tiny home will contain all the essentials including a bathroom with a shower, toilet, sink, a bed, a small kitchenette, and space for a washer and dryer.
As of January 2019, Maine had an estimated 2,106 people experiencing homelessness on any given day (HUD). Of that Total, 283 were family households, 116 were Veterans, 125 were unaccompanied young adults (aged 18-24), and 226 were individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. This data likely undercounts the actual number of people experiencing homelessness, and in the past year during the pandemic the situation has gotten much worse. Tiny homes provide one additional and direct way to get people into secure housing. And we hope this pilot project can serve as a model and expand to other parts of Maine as well.
Direct action for real change.
The Tiny Homes, Big Feelings pilot program will employ a direct action strategy, which has been effective in other cities to both generate housing quickly and encourage needed conversations and policy changes to happen more quickly. Through this work we can continue to build critical partnerships across organizations and individuals, which will allow us to make faster progress. By building tiny houses and getting them into the hands of the people who need them most, we can cut out many of the intermediary steps that often prevent housing solutions from ever getting off the ground. These barriers include politics, zoning, fear, financing, and many other common responses to new ideas.
Host properties needed!
We are looking for partners who will host a single tiny house on their property. The people involved in the Tiny Homes Big Feelings program have shared that they are less interested in large tiny house communities and would rather have a home embedded within a neighborhood. The homes will be no larger than 8 feet wide by 20 feet long, the size of an average parking space. If you would like to inquire to learn more about how to host a tiny house, please email email@example.com.