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Teen Becomes First to Move into ‘Micro Home’ Built to Tackle Homelessness

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By the year 2041, the amount of homeless people living in the UK is expected to double to half a million people. The analysis was conducted by the Heriot-Watt University for Crisis, and they state that the government needs to take immediate action in order to prevent this. Luckily, the government is doing something; 18-year-old Kieran Evans has become the first to move into a “micro-home” — a home which is part of a larger project designed to tackle the country’s homelessness crisis.

Micro Homes For The Homeless

The Homeless Foundation is a charity organization from the UK that have developed the ‘iKozie’,  an individual ‘cozy’, self-contained, fully fitted, ergonomically designed single person home created to tackle the housing crisis and house the homeless.

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The iKozie is 186 square feet (17.25 sq m) and is built using modular construction. It is built off-site and once completed, craned into the backyard of an already existing house. It will be used to help those who are homeless transition from hostels to independent living. It has a bedroom, shower room, living room, and a full kitchen with a washing machine.

The iKozies provide a cozy, well designed, fully furnished, self-contained, single person home where they have to take responsibility for purchasing food and cooking, cleaning, laundry, heating and paying for things like rent, electricity bills, phone bills, etc.

While these homes could be a cure for the housing crisis as they are inexpensive to make and affordable, the overall purpose is to provide a temporary self-contained home for one homeless person. It teaches them how to live independently and supports them to find permanent housing and employment.

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For an entire year, Evans lived on the street. Now, he has a home in Barbourne, Worcester, and is hopeful to rebuild his life after experiencing homelessness first-hand.

“I’m ecstatic, genuinely so happy to have my own space. It’s like a compact luxury apartment.”

Housing First

The ‘housing first’ strategy was developed 25 years ago by a Canadian living in New York. The idea is that only after people have a stable housing situation can they begin to work on their own challenges.

This strategy has been widely adopted in Australia and Europe, and in the United States with it has found its most striking success in reducing homelessness among military veterans in cities like New Orleans, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. But nowhere has it been more widely embraced than in Canada.

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While several cities in Canada have undertaken this initiative, no one has been as successful as Medicine Hat, Alberta. In fact, in November 2015 the announced that they had ended homelessness in their city.

The initiative is instrumental in helping those who need help to start over. Often, those who are homeless are suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol or are suffering from mental health disorders. These are people who can’t find a permanent home on their own, and without this sort of assistance are likely to not be able to overcome their situations and integrate back into society.

With support from the national government, this movement has the potential to not only get people off of the streets, but to heal and teach them as well.

Sources:

http://www.homelessthf.org/ikozie-micro-home/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/26/world/canada/homeless-canada-medicine-hat-housing-first.html

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