Tiny Town Brings Homeless Solution to Guelph

Shipping containers as tiny homes is nothing new, but one little town in Ontario, Canada is putting these little homes to good use. Guelph has decided to put together a tiny town to give their homeless population somewhere to live, with the hopes of finishing the project before the fall.

On May 23, the prototype was put on display at the Wike Bicycle Company to showcase the project. The prototype has 150 square feet of living space, including a small kitchen, toilet, shower, and a single bed.

Bob Bell, the owner of Wike, and the Ward 1 councillor, has been working with Adrienne Crowder, the manager of the Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy, on this project since last year. Bell made his proposal to the city's homelessness task force earlier this year, wanting to transform 10 eight-by-20 shipping containers into living quarters; the units would cost about $50,000 each and have minimal living costs.

Bell said he was inspired to build these houses because he was getting phone calls from people who couldn't afford housing. These homes can be built in just a few hours on a production line, and the building plans will be available to the public for free, in case another area decides they want to do a project like this of their own.

“As a city councilor, I am seeing a problem of crisis proportion — with the opioids stuff — there are people on the street everywhere. Our constituents want the problem solved. They don’t know how to solve it but they certainly don’t want people living and dying on the streets,” Bell said.

"It really is one of the solutions that should be embraced, it helps with giving people dignity, giving them safety, giving them wraparound social services," Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie said.

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Author: Auz Burger