Crowdfunding could help tiny home village for homeless

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Our homeless problem is visible and growing, and though the Record Street Center offers refuge and services, many are still out in the cold.

One answer may lie with a city-owned property several blocks to the east off Sage Street. After years of housing winter-time overflow shelters at various locations, the city is looking at building a permanent one there. But it's also looking at a pilot project to build a tiny home village there.

If you've never heard of tiny homes, think of a back yard shed, offering shelter and little else.

"These aren't cozy apartments," says local businessman Bob Conrad. . "This is not a great housing long-term solution, but it will get people out of the elements in weather conditions that we have right now."

Conrad is the publisher of ThisisReno.com. and he's offered his energy to raising the funds for the project. He and others believe the tiny home village approach works by giving the homeless occupant the first thing he or she needs to rebuild their lives--an address.

"Once they get in here they have a limited amount of time to stay while they are developing job skills. They now have a physical address that they can get a driver's license mailed to. All the things required to get them mainstreamed into society."

The village would include a central kitchen, rest rooms, counseling services and one additional feature that addresses a key issue with some homeless.

"A lot of them have pets and pets are not allowed at the shelters. So this is another possible way to address that. People will be allowed to house their pets here as well."

They've set an ambitious timeline. They want to get the village up and operating in the coming year. The initial target is $100,000. In two days they've raised more than $19 thousand.

One they get it funded they'll be seeking help with the construction.

If you're interested and want to know more, click here.