I’ve worked in the area of poverty and homelessness for a decade. So I’ve basically had like ten million or so people send me memes and articles about tiny house for the homeless. Any community that is trying to address homelessness in a compassionate way, has the micro housing conversation at least once, or maybe a thousand times.

Whenever I speak on poverty solutions I always discuss extreme examples of people tackling homelessness, but whenever I would bring up the idea of tiny homes people instantly start thinking of shoving a homeless vet into a 50 sqft glorified shed. It was because of this mentality that when I first start to pose the idea that small living might be the answer to address some forms of family homelessness, people look at me cross eyed like I am insane for suggesting that a family with children could live in something less than 300 sqft.

“Who would even do it?”

As I began to research it, I realized that if I wanted to build a micro village for single homeless men, there are about 1.6 trillion designs on Pinterest for how to build a tiny house for singles. Every type of person on the planet can be seen living in these homes from uber hippies, to passive hipsters, young professionals, and retirees, but the best thing I could find about families moving into tiny homes was, well, basically nothing.

It got me thinking. If two people can live comfortably in 140 sqft home on wheels, then why do we have to start rounding that number up by thousands the second a child is brought into the mix. I mean, I don’t know how recently you’ve seen a baby, but they really don’t take up that much space. Like, a womb is super small and yet the second they are born they are immediately placed into a crib that is easily 50x the size of their first domicile. And don’t get me started on the size of the room that is necessary to hold the crib, to hold the baby.

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly… but perhaps it’s not a sustainable model. (I never said I was good at making up nursery rhymes.)


Nathan Monk is a husband, father, author, and former Orthodox priest who writes about growing up in childhood homelessness, and brings awareness to the social and justice issues related to first world poverty.

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