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Tiny Houses

The Problem

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.


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.

Our Solution

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.

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There are 19 tiny house villages operated or supported by LIHI in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Skyway, and Bellingham. 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 19 villages support over 1,600 people annually.

Working with our self-management and advocacy partners such as Camp Second Chance and Interbay Safe Harbor, 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.

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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.

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