The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development determined the homeless population in the United States in 2018 was over 552,000 people. While it’s been documented that the number of homeless individuals has decreased over the last several years, the number of individuals that are homeless is still unnerving. (1)
Among the thousands of homeless individuals is the alarming number of women that are affected by the housing crisis. Women are currently among the fastest growing group of homeless in the United States. With the majority of homeless families being led by women, they are therefore among the fastest growing demographic of homeless people in the United States. (3)
But there may be a solution to get these women off the street and into safe, affordable housing. The tiny home movement has been taking the world by storm. These clever, compact, and financially feasible homes may be the key to slowing down the crisis of women facing homelessness.
Women Facing Homelessness
Homelessness in the world is a serious issue no matter race, gender, or ethnicity. Domestic violence is one of the main reasons responsible for women ending up homeless. Because women are the primary caregivers of children in domestic disputes, they easily fall victim to overwhelming circumstances such as insufficient income and a lack of affordable housing. (3)
For women facing homelessness, it’s not simply about not having a place to stay. When homeless, women suffer consequences such as poor hygiene and mental health issues. One of the largest complications homeless women face is their monthly menstruation cycle. With limited resources, and unstable housing accommodations women are forced to use improper or unsanitary objects as makeshift feminine products.
In these moments, desperation for reprieve is not uncommon. Women will often choose high-risk illegal hustles acts such as panhandling, prostitution, and selling illegal substances to gain income for necessities such as food, feminine products, and housing. (4)
Home Sweet Home
The tiny home movement may be the game changer needed to relieve the population of homelessness in America. Tiny houses have become a worldwide trend and social movement. Not only do people love tiny homes for the convenience of downsizing and simplifying their lives, but they are affordable while allowing freedom and new possibilities.
On average, tiny houses are approximately 100-400 square feet. These structures can be rented or owned, and even mobile if your heart desires. Tiny homes allow for large advantages for the homeless community, especially for women.
Tiny Home, Large Affordability
With the popularity of tiny homes causing quite a stir, comes the idea of creating tiny home communities specifically for homeless women. As the conversation regarding women facing homelessness continues to grow, the potential of tiny homes as a solution may very well grow with it.
Because tiny homes offer an affordable housing option, women with children can afford care for not only themselves but their children. For women who are victims of domestic violence, many shelters require mandatory relocation from confidential locations to homeless shelters after 30-90 days. Especially for single moms with children, tiny houses may provide a safe place for them to call home. (5)
The affordable nature of tiny homes offers an innovative and practical solution for women in need of a safe space to call their own. The homes, which cost a small fraction in comparison to most housing solutions, have become a national movement gaining traction to fight homelessness.