NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. (KOVR/CNN) — Nevada County is looking at a new way to provide homes to the homeless.
Janice O’Brien, president of the nonprofit homeless advocacy group Sierra Roots, says homeless shelters in the area are at capacity every night, leaving many of the homeless with nowhere else to go.
“They don’t want to leave, they consider this their home…they don’t have shelter though,” O’Brien explains.
So the county is considering building a micro-home village.
“Our department is engaged in trying to help and solve the problems not roll them up and roll them out kind of a deal,” said Nevada City Councilman Robert Bergman.
The plan would call for building small, one-room homes close together that would have electricity and running water.
“It’s a place where they can connect with agencies. They don’t have money so they don’t have transportation so they can’t get to behavioral health which is three miles away,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien says the village would be self-governed and maintained by all who live there, and a place where the homeless could learn new skills like gardening or cooking.
“Shelter is treatment. As soon as they have their own place, a little place, it can be little but its a place they can lock up and be safe and secure,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien says the idea is for the village to be a transitional point that can help the homeless get back on their feet.
A sense of community for people who have so often felt shut out.
O’Brien says they’ve drawn up plans, but they still need the financial backing. They have a meeting planned at the end of the month where they hope to drum up the support they need to move forward with county or city leaders.
Several other cities across the country have done something like this, including Washington, D.C; San Francisco; and San Jose.
“Obviously its working and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t, couldn’t… shouldn’t work here,” Bergman said.