Dec 18 2020
03:24 pm
By: michael kaplan

Hello Mr. Kaplan,

I am sorry your follow-up questions were not answered. I am happy to provide the following information:

1. Smaller encampments refers to areas where a few unsheltered people camp. This is often in an area that is wooded or not easily visible.

2. The City has no designated camping areas.

3. The City tries to be responsive to remove camps when there are complaints from private property owners or when people are camping in public areas.

As Mike Dunthorn indicated, VMC and CAC have added street outreach workers (there are now a total of 9 workers) who engage unsheltered individuals and families with the goal of getting people in shelter and adequately housed. Shelters continue to have beds available to accommodate people, even as they space those beds out and implement other COVID protocols in coordination with the health department. VMC, in coordination with the Health Department operates the Guest House, in order to accommodate homeless individuals who are either awaiting COVID test results or who have tested positive and must quarantine while they recover.

Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks,

Becky Wade
Director of Housing and Neighborhood Development
City of Knoxville

Up Goose Creek's picture

Huts for the homeless


My first reaction is these don't look fire resistant.

I'm thinking 1/4" sheetrock could be pre - molded to a curve in a room with moisture. Unfaced fiberglass won't burn. Tyvek could be the moisture barrier.

I guess heating is not a concern in Eugene. Not sure the answer here. I have a bed warmer made of buckwheat which is a non electric way of providing heat.

sobi's picture

Not editorializing much here,..

...but this is what they are. The designer's focused on speed of construction, better-than-tent level protection from the elements, and some security. They are not intended to be permanent housing. Amenities are very barebones, so you'll need to bring your own sleeping bag.

The designer is very into very small living spaces, and has lived, and may still live, in one of these with his wife and at least some progeny. He's put a lot of thought and practice into this design and into living in very small spaces, and these huts are, imo, impressive from a structure and design perspective given their limited objectives. He also is an advocate for intentional community, which isn't necessarily the same thing as placing huts like these somewhere and saying "Come on!" to all homeless people alike.

It should go without saying (but it doesn't), and it should be obvious (but I promise you it won't be) that if your policy is simply to build a bunch of these (or something much like them) and tolerate substance abuse and concomitant aberrant and predatory behavior to run unchecked within whatever project you put into play, then your efforts will lead to awfulness of kinds we've seen before (but don't seem to learn from) and so your efforts will fail (which will be par for the course). What I'm trying to say, you see, is, if you don't provide appropriate services and for public safety, making little hut villages for the homeless would be just like Blackstock, but with huts that would let you pat yourself on the back and say, "Look! We gave them huts in little villages!" But please don't call me a cynic, or worse. I've recently been shaped by a fairly rough year.

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