In the state of Washington there are currently more than 60,000 homeless individuals including singles and families with children, according to the State Department of Commerce. The latest point-in-time count for Seattle/King County showed over 15,000 homeless people. Seattle has the third largest number of homeless people of any major city, following after New York City and Los Angeles. While Veteran homelessness has gone down in recent years, the current stock of shelters and affordable housing cannot keep up with the dramatic increase in the number of people who are unhoused.
In 2015, LIHI started building Tiny House Shelters as a response to the homelessness crisis and as a replacement for tents. Tiny houses offer tremendous benefits over tents – they are safe, weatherproof and lockable – and the Tiny House Shelters allow program participants to reclaim their dignity and get on a path to permanent housing, employment and connection to supportive services.
Please consider a donation to our Tiny House Program. The cost of materials for a tiny house is $4,500. Donations of any amount will help.
There are 18 tiny house villages operated or supported by LIHI in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Skyway, and Tukwila. Each village has hygiene facilities, utility access, and a supportive neighboring community that is actively engaged in the success of the program participants. LIHI partners with neighbors, volunteers, community groups, non-profits, faith organizations, businesses, rotary clubs, and schools that help support the program participants with donations and meals. These 18 villages support over 2,000 people annually.
Shelter program participants participate in community meetings, do daily litter patrols, and serve as eyes on the street in the neighborhood. Volunteers, neighbors, and donors play a huge part in building the houses, setting up the shelters, and providing food and supplies. Local governments are partners providing land and operating funds. Tiny Houses are a new way to help people in crisis. We continue to forge new partnerships and are working to open more shelters in the near future.
By collaborating with students, volunteers, building trade organizations, and nonprofits, tiny houses offer a grassroots solution to the Puget Sound region's homelessness crisis. A tiny house is approximately 8’ x 12’ and materials cost about $4,500. All tiny houses are safe, sturdy structures that help protect homeless individuals and families who are faced with sleeping on the streets in unsafe conditions.
Each house has electricity, overhead light, insulation, and a heater. Each shelter has a kitchen, bathroom & laundry facilities, offices for on-site case managers, ample storage, and a check-in house for security.
Partnership with Chief Seattle Club: Raven Village
LIHI has entered into an exciting partnership with Chief Seattle Club (CSC) for a new Tiny House Village in Ballard called Raven Village! It is located next to the Ballard Food Bank at 1414 NW Leary Way. LIHI developed the site in consultation with CSC and Seattle City Light. CSC operates the village and provides supportive services for the villagers. This is CSC's second tiny house village in addition to Eagle Village in SODO.
In a letter to the community, Executive Director of Chief Seattle Club Derrick Belgarde wrote, "Our members are mostly homeless and unhoused American Indians and Alaskan Natives, representing well over 100 tribes throughout the greater Pacific Northwest. The AI/AN community makes up less than one percent of our King County population, yet comprises over 15 percent of people experiencing homelessness in the county...This project will have an immeasurable and positive impact on our Urban Native relatives and families."
Raven village provides 23 tiny houses with insulation, heat, air conditioning, and a locking door, and houses about 28 people at a time who are predominantly unsheltered American Indian and Alaskan Native singles, couples, and people with pets. It will include community kitchen and hygiene facility with restrooms, showers, and laundry.
Chief Seattle Club provides 24/7 staff to manage the site and CSC's onsite case management helps clients obtain permanent housing, employment, health care and traditional wellness, access to education and other supportive services.
Raven Village will serve as a vital addition to the terrific programs that Chief Seattle Club provides, including Eagle Village, three permanent housing properties, and an expanded mix of traditional wellness and supportive services. LIHI is thrilled to work with CSC and help make this village a reality!
Length of Stay
Through our supportive services and housing resources, program participants of the Tiny House shelters have experienced success in moving out of homelessness. We have helped hundreds of shelter program participants move into permanent housing and find employment.
Tiny houses are meant to be a temporary bridge into permanent housing. In service of this goal our program has been wildly successful.