Civic advocates unveiled a novel approach to providing shelter for the homeless with the opening of Beloved Community Village, a co-op supported by Denver Homeless Out Loud and the Beloved Community Mennonite Church.
Denver’s Beloved Community Village is a very small step toward solving a very large problem. The new community, which opened July 21, can living spaces for up to 22 of the city’s homeless citizens, sheltering them in 11 tiny homes.
The homes are indeed small, just eight feet by 12 feet, and all in one room. But they are meant to provide a sense of security, privacy and self-reliance for their occupants.
The village aligned the mission of several partners, chief among them, Denver Homeless Out Loud and Beloved Community Mennonite Church. It is housed at the corner of 38th and Walnuts streets on a parcel owned by the Urban Land Conservancy, which leases the property for $1 per month.
The village is still under construction but will have a communal gathering space and bath house. The units mimic the design of traditional American dwellings with pitched roofs, wood floors and windows in the walls and front door.
The village was approved by city officials on a temporary basis. It has to show, over the next sixth months, that is is safe and well-maintained.
The cooperative village puts its purpose this way: “We are convinced that a new model of rapidly buildable housing, designed around community, dignity, and self-determination is a moral imperative for our region.”