While we all hope to see homelessness wiped out, often it feels like there isn’t much we can do other than buy someone a sandwich or donate a few pennies.
Yet a new project is helping bridge the gap between those with housing and those without so that privileged people can do more to help the vulnerable.
The BLOCK Project’s incredible initiative builds tiny homes in people’s gardens to offer rough sleepers a safe haven where they can stay warm.
Not only does it keep disadvantaged individuals off the streets, it also champions social inclusion and smashes stigmas around class wars by introducing integration.
Of course, kind-hearted homeowners must first give their permission, after which fully-equipped homes are then built to give their new neighbours a place to call home.
Speaking about the mission, the Seattle-based team said they needed to take a bold stand after realising that society will never end homelessness through housing alone.
They said: “A new approach is needed that acknowledges that relationships are the building blocks for healing our communities and that we can no longer see those who are homeless as ‘other’.”
The crew added: “This bold new model invites all of us to step forward with our own abilities to create societal change.”
While small, the mini homes are certainly not just fancy tents, they are designed to be permanent dwelling units to provide stability for residents to conquer their struggles.
The programme falls under the Facing Homelessness umbrella, a remarkable organisation that fights to end homelessness by inviting people to work together as a community.
Founder Rex Hohlbein also believes that by humanising homelessness and seeing each person on the street as an individual, we can chip away at the taboo of poverty.
Back in 2010, having welcomed rough sleepers into his office where he worked as an architect for a space to chat, he saw first-hand the power of connection and was overwhelmed at how jarring the negative stereotype of the homeless was to the beauty of those he was meeting.
To illustrate this, Rex began photographing his new friends and shared the glorious black and white photos alongside their stories.
The intimate portraits swiftly caught the public’s attention, and what began as a passion project on social media evolved into the non-profit organisation it is now.
Today, they continue to tell stories and share photos of people who are experiencing homelessness, in their first step toward overcoming feelings of being invisible.
To check out the beautiful snapshots, click here: Facing Homelessness.