Thousands of people throughout the Pacific Northwest are suffering homelessness. Indeed, on a single night in January 2020, the ‘Point-in-Time Count’ for Seattle found 11,751 people homeless. 53% of those people were sheltered, while 47% were without shelter.
This number represented a 5% rise compared to the count in 2019. New findings show that the numbers of most people looking for homelessness services remained constant over the past three years. However, the number of young adults, youth, and veteran homelessness has continually seen reductions. But more must be done to ensure everyone gets a place to call home.
Seattle People Address the Homelessness Epidemic
Two Seattle-based non-profit organizations, ‘The BLOCK’ and ‘Facing Homelessness,’ have come together to address the homelessness issue in a unique and more dignified way. Through ‘The Block Project,’ 125 square-feet modular designs of sustainable houses are being constructed and placed in the backyards of generous homeowners across Seattle.
These small, low-emission, fully-equipped houses are then offered to homeless neighbors. The project allows Seattle residents to support their unhoused neighbors and address the homelessness epidemic together.
What is The BLOCK Project
As mentioned, The BLOCK Project is a collaboration of two non-profit organizations, ‘The BLOCK’ and ‘Face Homelessness.’ The former was founded by Rex Hohlbein, a charitable architect whose vision includes seeing that the homelessness problem comes to an end.
Face Homelessness is tasked with finding Seattle homeowners who are able and willing to offer their backyards, on which Rex’s BLOCK builds and places the tiny houses. Thousands of residents are hailing this initiative and have already given backyards to host the mini housing. The government has intervened to make the process legally convenient.
Quicker and More Effective Solution
Seattle is home to the country’s third largest homeless population. Buying a home in this city is also very expensive, which may have directly contributed to the problem. The government is aware of these problems and has been trying to address them through various allowances and programs.
However, these don’t provide a quick solution, and the number of the unhoused population continues to grow. Hohlbein realized there are kind and willing neighbors who could offer a faster and more effective solution. So far, this visionary idea has given birth to thousands of mini houses placed in household backyards across the city.
Replicating AirBnB Concept
Lodging has come a long way since the time homeowners could host strangers in exchange for little pay. In his childhood, Hohlbein used to find it ludicrous to consider hosting people in a regular household, particularly with the risks of them having to stay through the night.
This whole concept is globally changing, and people now have a new perception of it, thanks to Airbnb. Hohlbein’s dream is to create something that works similarly yet in a more effective and futuristic manner. Through his initiative, The BLOCK Project, he commits to replicating the idea of Airbnb with mini, low-emission housing but beginning from the local neighborhoods.