It Takes a Tiny Home to Build a Village
Homelessness. Homelessness is perhaps one of the biggest fears people rationalize and potentially face sometime in their lives around the world. Whether the event comes from depleted savings due to expensive medical bills, life choices, a terrible family dynamic, or worst of all, volunteering your service for the armed forces, 0.2% of all Americans face some form of homelessness. Living in Los Angeles and California all of my life, I have seen the impact homelessness can have on communities, ranging from Skid Row to Veteran Avenue, ultimately surfacing at the local government level from complaining citizens who practice NIMBYism (Not in My Back Yard philosophy). The problem remains as to what to do with the population and how to resolve this extremely complicated issue as from the many interviews and conversations homeless people have had with individual reporters and journalists, they simply do not want to go into designated shelters, as it restricts what they can do, when they can do it, and what possessions they can have. However, if an alternative was created to combat the issue of restricting someone’s individuality and ability to continue living how they please, they would be open to that proposal.
Enter Pallet Shelter. Pallet Shelter is the company responsible for building and shipping 70 “tiny homes” to help the homeless veterans currently living on Veteran Avenue here in Los Angeles. The concept isn’t new, as minimalists and people who like to have multiple homes in desolate locations can attest to the tiny home lifestyle, but the implementation of these seemingly affordable and easy to produce homes to solve the homelessness problem plaguing American’s, more specifically veterans, is somewhat emerging. Pallet Shelter aims to combat this problem with their business model and how they can quickly assemble homes in under an hour. Homelessness can truly mean the difference between life and death, with shelter being a deciding factor as sleeping in an unsecure location often results in personal harm, harassment, and the exposure to harsh elements. Each Pallet Shelter has its own air conditioning, locking mechanism, and beds, with different structures also providing showers, toilets, and sinks for communal use.
The company operates off of a community style platform, where a “village” is constructed with some 60 homes in order for the people living in them to build off of each other and eventually, rise out of homelessness. Pallet Shelter is no stranger to helping people in need, as they currently have 1,764 active cabins scattered across America, with California being the state with the most villages. Further, the company also took the time and due diligence to actually make sure the shelters accomplished the goal of housing people by taking the time to talk to government officials, homeless solving organizations, and previously homeless people, demonstrating their ability to go above and beyond what the conventional homeless shelter would do. These experiences impact their decision making on essential features in the cabins, such as a cabin monoxide detector, ample storage space for personal belongings, electricity, insulation, and of course, bedding. With a typical stay of 30 days before the current occupant gets moved to other housing, it is safe to say that with the impact Pallet Shelter is having on the world, it won’t be long before other communities get involved and assist in their efforts to end homelessness.