Organizers apply for Tiny House Village permit on 23rd Street

Organizers apply for Tiny House Village permit on 23rd Street
Tiny Village Spirit will take their “prayer and blessing” planks painted by youth and volunteers to the “End Homelessness Now” Rally and Art Action at the Capital West Side, Sacramento, on Saturday, March 16. Photos/ Linda Hemmila

Tiny Village Spirit has applied for a temporary use permit to create homes for young people on their Tiny House Village, Farm & Garden project across from the GRIP shelter.

The project will include two 20-foot diameter yurts, up to 12 small homes, a bathroom trailer, and an office building on the vacant city-owned lot at 23rd Street and Bissell Avenue. 

A rendering of the village from the San Francisco State Department of Architecture.

Organizers are hoping for a December 2024 move-in date to provide temporary housing for unsheltered young adults in Richmond, ages 18 to 24. The requested Temporary Use Permit will expire in February 2031.

Tiny Village Spirit Coordinator Sally Hindman said the project will be Richmond’s first legal tiny house village and double the number of emergency housing units available for unhoused young people.

“Our model is grounded in ownership by the people being served, community organizing for systemic change--not just charity, art and beauty as giant priorities, and leadership and construction by volunteers,” Hindman said.

The pilot program will initially serve six young people and add another six houses in the second year after evaluating the project. Organizers say these houses will form a small, well-supported community where these youth can rebuild their lives.

Richmond's Tiny House Village site plan

The land is owned by the City of Richmond and leased to the Richmond Police Activities League, which will provide culinary job training for the project. Rebuilding Together East Bay Network is the sublease of the property and will act as administrative lead.  

Tiny Village Spirit created a similar project in Oakland. It was the first legal tiny house village in the east bay and Oakland’s first tiny house village, Hindman said at a community meeting.

“We were invited by SOS Richmond and Rebuilding Together East Bay to see if we could organize a tiny house village in Richmond. The idea that they had was that RPAL had this amazing land and this amazing program that there could be a super exciting collaboration that could come through the leadership of RPAL,” Hindman said.

All youth will participate in weekly case management to provide structure and direction. Residents will be involved in either employment or education, and personal and occupational goals will be established.

The participating youth expressed their desire to extend their stay in the program for two years. However, the case management goal is to transition them out of the program as soon as they secure permanent housing.

In accordance with the county’s HUD-mandated system, all young people residing in the village will be admitted through the coordinated entry system. This system is currently operational in municipalities across the United States.

Each young person will have their own home.

A new perimeter fence using “prayer and blessing” planks painted by youth and volunteers will encircle the village. 

Tiny Village Spirit will take all 550 fence planks to the “End Homelessness Now” Rally and Art Action at the Capital West Side, Sacramento on Saturday, March 16.

Hindman said Tiny Village Spirit youth organizers and allies will cover the entire front face of the California State Capitol in Sacramento with the 8-foot fence planks in solidarity with unhoused people in California.

“The event will culminate with youth organizers bringing a list of demands to the Capital doors urging the State’s immediate action to stop the dehumanization of unhoused people--including 12 specific recommended steps needed to end homelessness now,” Hindman said.

Tiny Village Spirit is raising almost $1 million to build the village from individuals, family foundations, corporations, and the faith community and hopes to raise $75,000 from GoFundMe gifts throughout the project.

Help keep our content free for all!

Click to become a Grandview Supporter here. Grandview is an independent, journalist-run publication exclusively covering Richmond, CA. Copyright © 2024 Grandview Independent, all rights reserved.

Read more