Seattle, WA – In response to Seattle Mayor Durkan’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency in the fight against COVID-19, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is opening a new tiny house village located at 612 22nd Ave (22nd & E. Cherry) in the Central Area on land owned by The Christ Spirit Church. In addition, LIHI is doubling the size of Lake Union Village (LUV) located at 800 Aloha St. in South Lake Union. A total of 50 new tiny houses will shelter up to 60 people experiencing homelessness including singles, couples and people with pets.
The new village, T.C. Spirit Village, and the expansion at LUV opens on Wednesday, April 15, and provides shelter, safety, hygiene, food, and on-site case management for vulnerable individuals at risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. T.C. Spirit Village will receive referrals of Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and African Americans who are underserved and over-represented in the homeless population. LUV provides shelter for homeless individuals including those living with mental illness, alcoholism and/or chemical dependency. Lifelong provides behavioral health services at LUV.
Important: Press are invited to visit the two villages on Thursday, April 16, 10am – 1pm, on a first come first serve staggered basis to ensure small groups and physical distance between persons. If interviewing, please bring boom mic to ensure minimum 6-10 feet distance during these. No footage allowed of persons without prior consent. RSVP required to Josh Castle along with confirmation – (206) 334-0508 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
T.C. Spirit Village includes 28 tiny houses; a community kitchen, a hygiene building with restrooms, showers, and laundry, staff and counseling offices, and a security pavilion. There is 24/7 staffing and case management on-site to help up to 32 residents obtain housing, employment, health care, education, and other services. Members of The Christ Spirit Church will provide donations, services, food and other support. The village is receiving operational support from the Seattle Human Services Department. “We The Christ Spirit Church are our brother’s keeper. We have been longtime advocates for ending homelessness, and this is an opportunity to continue in collaboration with LIHI and the City,” stated Rev. Willie Seals.
The pre-apprenticeship students in the Tulalip Tribes TERO Program constructed 13 tiny houses at T.C. Spirit Village. Art completed by artist Ty Juvinel decorates the doors. “We applaud the significant contribution of the Tulalip Tribes TERO Program. The students have built over 10% of all the tiny houses in Seattle,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. “The partnership with LIHI has not only allowed us to build tiny houses for the homeless, but has helped us navigate lives and futures. Our students have been honored and grateful to contribute to helping those in need,” remarked Summer Hammons, Tulalip Tribes TERO Program Director.
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner donated funds to build 9 of the 22 new tiny houses at Lake Union Village. Burrard, a real estate development company, donated funds to help construct both T.C. Spirit Village and LUV. LIHI staff, neighbors and volunteers worked together to set up the villages quickly—and with careful adherence to social distancing—in less than a month. See below for a list of volunteer groups, students and businesses who built and contributed tiny houses.
“Thank you to Mayor Durkan for declaring a Civil Emergency and providing resources quickly to stand up new villages. There are too many unsheltered homeless men and women who are vulnerable and sleeping outside in the cold. Many are in the high risk group for Covid-19 and have compromised health and weakened immunity. We appreciate the generous contribution of Burrard who made a donation of $250,000 to help build 41 tiny houses,” said Sharon Lee. The gift of 41 tiny houses symbolizes the 41 stories of Burrard’s new NEXUS tower in downtown Seattle.
LIHI operates 12 tiny house villages in Seattle, Olympia, and Tacoma sheltering over 1,000 homeless individuals each year. Villages offer a safe and dignified place for those living outside. Each house is 8 by 12 feet, costs about $2,700, and has insulation, electricity, heat, windows, and a lockable door. The villages include plumbed on-site facilities with showers, toilets, laundry, and a community kitchen. Each village includes on-site case management staff to help residents obtain housing, employment, and other social services.
In February, the Seattle City Council voted to amend the original permitted encampment ordinance to allow the continuation of the existing tiny house villages that would have otherwise sunset and permit up to 40 sites which could include tiny house villages, tent encampments, and safe parking to be authorized throughout the city.
Tiny House Builders: Those who built or donated tiny houses at T.C. Spirit Village include: Burrard, Tulalip Tribes TERO Program, Newport Covenant Church, Mercer Island Methodist Church, Fauntleroy United Church of Christ Church, Sound Foundations Northwest, Annie Wright School, Arlington High School, Ingraham High School, Mountlake Terrace High School, Sawhorse Revolution, Walsh Construction, Dale Hoff and friends, Lane Dorcy and friends, and many wonderful Central Area, International District and Capitol Hill neighbors.
Those who built or donated tiny houses at LUV include: Burrard, Bobby Wagner, Northwest School, Arlington High School, Rainier Beach High School, Snohomish High School, The Green Hill School, Seattle YouthBuild Georgetown, Thurston County YouthBuild, The Shelton Washington Corrections Center Carpentry Program, volunteers from The Butterfly Effect, The PACT Program, Seattle Pacific University, Sno-King Technical College, 84th Street Cares volunteers, Rugby for Good, Bill Duvall and friends, and many wonderful local neighbors. If interested in learning more about the tiny house program or if you wish to donate items or build a tiny house, email email@example.com. If you wish to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more information about tiny houses on LIHI’s website: lihi.org/tiny-houses.