Why Tiny? Why Now? (Week #46)
The What and Why:
Last week I had the distinct pleasure of presenting a brief history of the tiny house movement and speak about my Silver Bullet tiny house journey/build to a group that convenes monthly called Local Poverty Matters.
I spoke about my moral imperative of solving climate change, the desperate lack of affordable housing, and my homelessness as a single human in a world of diminishing resources.
Most of the homeless, like me, do not want a hand-out. We want a hand-up. After being socially ostracized, discounted and marginalized, we are often invisible to other Americans. The American Dream I grew up with is dead. So I invented and chose a new American Dream. I created the Silver Bullet Tiny House Challenge.
Could I build a non-toxic, off-grid, all renewable energy fed, resilient sustainable lifestyle in a mobile tiny house on wheels? Could it be made of reclaimed, repurposed sustainable materials and cost less than $20,000.? Could it serve as a mobile educational exhibit that could inspire individuals and families to decrease their carbon footprint, their economic costs and improve their community involvement by freeing up more time and control of their lives?
Taking my future in my own hands, I designed a beautiful, biomimetic tiny house that nurtures my sustainable lifestyle. I used reclaimed resources, found sponsors, repurposed what others left on the roadside, and made my own home. Nature is never more than four feet away from me in any direction. I love that.
The details of my story and build are in my recently released e-Book, if you want to know more. Proceeds from the book support me giving workshops on sustainable living across the USA starting in Spring, 2016.
Here’s the thing about my homelessness. Deciding to take my own fate in my own hands, even with obstacles like my disabilities*, my poor health, no funds, no social or career possibilities imminent, fostered within me a resilience I only fantasized was possible. That is, until I achieved my solution.
Creating my own hand-up was not easy; however, others were inspired by my passion, drive and commitment to live a simple, tiny, healthier, zero-waste footprint lifestyle and they helped me any way they could.
I gained self-esteem, construction skills galore, lost weight, grew muscle (both physically and psychologically), found my “happy place” and finally, I gained social and community acceptance. The journey was incredibly challenging with many turning points in which I almost quit. But like all great journeys and projects, when finished, the joy and glory of seeing my accomplishment, knowing I reached all my goals, was an amazing reward.
I have achieved wellness all around. I live in a non-toxic, all renewable energy, self bio-mimetically designed, hand-built, mobile home.
That’s why “tiny” and that’s why “now”.
You can donate here. Every dollar helps me to help others.
* Although I have been classified by the State of Massachusetts as disabled, I have never collected any disability income from any source, private or public, Federal or State.
The Deep Dive:
Workers Over Fifty are the New Unemployables
The New Unemployables
Brutal Job Search for Older Americans
Not Looking for Work, Labor Force Participation and Recovery