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“Tiny Houses” Offer Shelter and Hope to Wisconsin’s Homeless

Occupy Madison has managed to turn their fuel and rage against the “One Percent” into something good. The group of protestors initiated plans to build a series of “tiny houses” to help eliminate homelessness within the city.

The city of Madison, population 250,000, has seen a dramatic increase of homelessness in recent years. Rough estimates put the number of homeless in Madison at more than 3,300 people.

The Occupy Madison group came up with the idea more than two years ago and recently completed the “tiny house village.”

The tiny houses measure just 99 sq. feet and feature a sink and composing toilet. Dan Newlin said that the homes utilize solar power for heat, with propane to offset.

“We will have a community,” said Trina Clements, who helped to organize the home’s construction.

Forty-nine-year-old Betty Ybarra ended up on the streets after fleeing an abusive relationship. She helped to build the tiny home in which she now resides and moved into the structure on Christmas Eve. Ybarra invited a friend, who had also been homeless, to stay in the home with her.

Occupy Madison plans to construct a total of nine tiny homes. The homes are made from recycled wood and are built for efficiency. While the homes are tiny, they offer hygienic living, safe shelter, and dignity to those who are rebounding from their situations.

Groups and organizations in Texas and New York have also announced plans to build “tiny homes.” Construction of Madison’s “tiny homes” community is volunteer powered and funded by private donations and crowdsourcing initiatives.

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