Denver, Colorado police arrested ten activists and hauled off the nascent tiny village that they were trying to build. The members of Denver Out Loud were arrested on the grounds of trespassing. The structures they were building were trashed and trucked away.
The site that the activists picked was formerly a low income housing project that had been demolished and latterly the city of Denver had designated it Sustainability Park which for the past few years was home to a community garden.
More recently the city has sold the property to a private developer who is planning to build condos on the site.
The Tiny Homes movement has caught the imagination of people seeking to provide shelters for the homeless. There are eight cities in the US where tiny homes and villages have been constructed with the permission of the local governments. Some cities have changed by-laws and others have relaxed some regulations to allow tiny – less than 200 square foot – dwellings.
Dignity Village in Portland Oregon is an example of the city working with those who are homeless to find a better solution. From hassling illegal camping under freeway overpasses to a settlement built on a paved lot, it shows what can be done if there is a will.
The village was started in 2001 on a former city leaf composting facility. A bus route is nearby. It has its own council and rules must be followed – no alcohol, illegal drugs, no stealing. Residents may stay an indefinite period of time or move on. When the residents of the village stay, they are expected to help with the running of the place, including maintenance.
After 15 years it is still thriving. It is classified as a transitional campground to fit it into Portland’s housing rules. Communal facilities for cooking, refrigeration, sanitary facilities and showers are part of the picture.
ABC News Denver
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