Salt Lake City has announced plans to build its own tiny home village. Taking a cue from Los Angeles's Alexandria Park Village and Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home Village, this new addition will be designed to house the city's homeless population. According to a press release from last month, The Other Side Academy, a vocational and behavioral training school for adults with criminal histories, substance abuse, and homelessness, has partnered with the city to construct what's been dubbed The Other Side Village. Fom the looks of the project renderings, this is more than just a shelter for the homeless — it's an entire community.
As ABC 4 reported, the village is aiming for 400 to 500 homes that measure roughly 400-square-feet each (significantly larger than Los Angeles's 64-square-foot tiny homes). Another bonus: Each home will be equipped with a kitchen and bathroom.
Per the design plans, the homes will be arranged in a circle, with various neighborhoods or rings surrounding a village center. In addition to the homes, there will be communal spaces available for residents, too. Plans show two community gardens, a community center, and a dog park. Other features include a downtown area with shops, a chapel, health services, storage facilities, and designated sections for Airbnb rentals.
"The key for this to be successful is not the physical structure of having tiny homes, but the social system," said Joseph Grenny, chair and founder of The Other Side Academy. "The most important part is to create an environment, socially and physically, that facilitates connection with others," he continued, adding that "homelessness is the result of a catastrophic loss of family."
With the design of this village, the city and academy aim to help those experiencing homelessness build new families as well as offer them a community with "strong social norms." Grenny stressed that these norms "will invite all to strive to achieve their potential, allowing them the dignity of being part of the solution, not just an issue to be solved."
Currently, the site of The Other Side Village is unknown. However, the city plans to reveal more information in the upcoming months. Mayor Erin Mendenhall stated in the release that the city is moving at "light-speed" to create this village and hopes to have it operating by winter. Acting as a pilot model, this will be Salt Lake City's first tiny home village.
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