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Tiny home village proposed in San Luis Obispo to help solve homelessness

Hope's Village already has five tiny homes built on wheels that will be the model for the rest of the structures in the permanent village community.
Hope's Village SLO
Hope's Village already has five tiny homes built on wheels that will be the model for the rest of the structures in the permanent village community.

Affordable tiny home villages have been popping up across the country in recent years in an effort to curb homelessness.

Becky Jorgeson is the founder and president of Hope’s Village, a nonprofit that has been working to establish a cohousing community to house unhoused people locally for 10 years.

“People need housing," Jorgeson said. "We can provide that housing. And it’s just not housing. It’s community.”

Her vision includes 30 tiny homes, all surrounding a communal house in the middle that has bathrooms, offices and a commercial kitchen. Jorgeson said the only thing missing is a plot of land to put it on.

“We just have it all in our head. We’ve been working on this for so long. We just need a site,” Jorgeson said.

She said she put an offer in on a piece of private land over the weekend. She’s looking at several possible sites around San Luis Obispo right now that she said would work for the community project.

Jorgeson said she already knows the members of the unhoused community that will get a spot in the village.

Residents will pay about 25 percent of their income to live there and, if they don’t have an income, Jorgeson said Hope’s Village will give them work.

“There’s a million different jobs that we could do," Jorgeson said. "There’s a lot of talent on the streets and everybody’s going to work.”

Jorgeson said residents will be on a 30-day probationary period when they move in, and they’ll sign a contract with rules like no stealing and no drugs or alcohol. She said the village will have resources available and weekly meetings.

“It’s all about community. Housing will never solve homelessness but community will,” Jorgeson said.

The goal is to get funding from private donors, foundations and corporations when the site is secure.

Those opposed to community housing projects often cite concern about neighborhood impact like trash build up or a drop in their home’s value.

But Jorgeson said cohousing projects are economically beneficial, saving taxpayers up to $50,000 a year per unhoused person for things like policing, medical emergencies and fires.

To learn more about the proposed village and sign up to volunteer, click here.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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