UPDATE: First tiny home for homeless complete

WMTV 15 News

They’ve spent the past few months sawing, painting, and now just the finishing touches remain.

“Everybody did a part. It’s been a community effort” says Betty Ybarra, who will be moving into the first of many tiny homes being built by Occupy Madison.

“It’s exciting. I’ve never owned my own house” says Ybarra.  

Each house is 98 square feet, comes with a bathroom and kitchen, and costs around $3,000 dollars. They are being paid for by community donations.

“You can stay at a shelter for a month and really that’s not a lot” says Russell Albers, who will be staying in a tiny home currently being built.

Like Ybarra, Albers spent countless hours helping to build his soon-to-be residence. Again, it’s not a big space, but it’s big impact, giving some homeless folks, around the Madison area, a fresh start, a much-needed boost, and a step in the right direction.

“There’s no comparison between having a place to go at night, and close the door, and sleep comfortably, and not freeze to death or have your possessions stolen. There’s no substitute for that” says Luca Clemente, one of the project organizers.

Occupy Madison hopes to complete 10 tiny homes by the end of 2014.
Right now, they don’t have a permanent spot to put the houses, but are working with area churches to get temporary lots of land.

If you’d like to volunteer helping build one of these homes, head to http://occupymadisoninc.com/.

Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 — 8:50pm

Madison resident Betty Ybarra has never owned a home, but that’ll soon change.

“I was very skeptical this could even happen” she tells NBC15 about her new home she’s currently helping to build through an Occupy Madison project.

The group is currently building small homes. It isn’t much. Each are about 100 square feet. But it’s enough to help someone get back on their feet.

“It’ll be small. It’ll be like living in a door room, but it’s much better than living in a tent outside” Brenda Konkel with Occupy Madison

Each house takes between 1 to 2 months to build and costs about $4 thousand. The project is made possible thanks to donations.

“They’ll all have a refrigerator, a microwave. There may be wood heat in there as well as electric heat” Konkel says.

Once finished, Ybarra will move into the home she’s working on. Her only requirement was to help build the house she’ll be living in.

“It really gives people a sense of pride and dignity and a place to live” Konkel says.

For some, the home will be a stepping stone, For others, it’ll be a permanent place. But for all, it’s a sign of hope

‘Just don’t give up” says Ybarra.

Occupy Madison plans to build 10 tiny houses in the first year. Their ultimate goal is to have a piece of land where they can park around 30 of them.


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7 thoughts on “UPDATE: First tiny home for homeless complete

  1. I would go insane in a house that small…I am clostrophobic. We built our own house of wood, about 824 square feet, with loft. That’s about as small as I can handle. I guess the agenda is to get folks to like this sorta housing in order to program others, like those who will be losing jobs soon. Of course, this is better than a tent…

  2. “If you build it (and give it away) they will come” “Obamaville on 98sqft steroids” “These things are much better than those tents they gave us, and we’d get cases of booze for ’em, ‘stead of just cigs” “Where’s the wifi” “Now we just need LAND, and lots of it, with free utility hook ups” “Hell, Martha, this place even has a digital safe for our EBT cards, but the refridgerator don’t have enough space for them free cheese logs”

  3. Perhaps a good idea but ten people in two years is more of a band aid on an amputation, the people need more than that and more urgently as well.

    Are they just creating an alternative media trailer park, sinkholes of little hope filled with people without support or help to get back on their feet?

    I believe however in the old adage that a third class ride is always preferable to a first class walk, it is nice to see them learning skills and self empowerment but surely a second hand caravan with better amenities could be found for half or a third of the money spent and some of them American caravans are luxurious to the point of better than some people’s houses.

    1. It has occurred to me that churches perhaps could be used more strategically in this campaign, a rural church sponsors one of these on its land and in return a set amount of vestry duties to pay for the usage of water, electricity and land fee, therefore the user is not only learning more skills but doing more for a community who in return would accept them more readily and giving them a sense of permanence and they don’t become an eyesore or a sinkhole problem for small towns and cities where they get all lumped together.

  4. Well…not to sound like a condescending cock-sucker…but if ya go your whole life believing in a morally bankrupt system…then dont be suprised when one guys lives in a shoebox while another guy has a 12million dollar pad

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