The Pink Elephant Lady
My Tour of Tiny Homes Detroit
I had the privilege of taking the progressive tour of the six new Tiny Homes this past Saturday. What are the Tiny Homes? Tiny Homes Detroit is Cass Community Social Services' effort to provide affordable housing for low-income residents. 25 houses ranging from 250 to 400 square feet are to be built on in vacant lots on Elmhurst Street, between Woodrow Wilson Street and the John C. Lodge Service Drive. According to Cass Community Social Services Executive Director Reverend Faith Fowler, the houses "provide safe, clean and affordable housing for low-income individuals who will be able to become homeowners without having to qualify for a mortgage or pay interest." (http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2016/05/tiny_home_project_aims_to_chan.html) The new houses will also bring density to a neighborhood with a lot of vacancy, and will be energy-efficient. Here's a bit of background from Cass Community Social Services' website (https://casscommunity.org/tiny-homes-2/):
"Each home will be on its own lot (roughly 30 x 100 feet) and every one will be on a foundation. Most will have a front porch or rear deck to increase the living space. The residents will have a combination of experiences (formerly homeless people, senior citizens, college students and a few Cass staff members) but all will qualify as low-income. At first, the residents will rent the homes. Anyone who remains for seven years will be given the opportunity to own the home and property. The houses are being built by both professional trades people (under the supervision of a general contractor) and volunteer teams who will manage the finishing jobs – tiling, dry walling, painting, gardening, building decks and erecting fences."
My tour also included 'tiny snacks' (squeeee!!!!!) and a docent was present in each home to answer any questions visitors might have. I had a chance to meet Reverend Faith Fowler. As part of my tour, I'm going to receive a copy of Reverend Fowler's soon-to-be published new book , "Tiny Homes in a Big City".
Here's some of the pictures I took. These homes all have their own special names, but I just refer to them by color.
Cass Community Social Services does more than Tiny Homes - it's a beacon of light in the community it serves, providing food, housing, jobs, and health services. I had a chance this past February to visit their Cass Green Industries division and make mud mats constructed of tires illegally dumped in Detroit vacant lots. They also make sandals, planters, key chains, and other upcycled items - I love my mud mat! Interested? Shop online at https://casscommunity.org/mud-mats/
Interested in volunteering with Cass? I'd love to join you! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 313-316-1173 and let's get a group together.
Another way you can support Cass Community Social Services is to get involved with Empty Bowls Detroit. Empty Bowls Detroit is an outreach of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Together, with the sponsorship of Sugar Hill Clay, Empty Bowls Detroit raises awareness and money for the work of Cass Community Social Services in their efforts to feed the hungry in the City of Detroit. Empty Bowls Detroit raised over $30,000 for Cass in 2017! Their flagship event is held annually at Eastern Market. You can bring a group out for a fun evening of bowl painting, or they can come out to your location. We had a lot of fun at our Pink Elephant Products Empty Bowl Event earlier this year!
Learn more on the Empty Bowls Detroit website at http://www.emptybowlsdetroit.com/
Be sure to follow our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pinkelephantproducts/) and our events calendar on our website (https://www.pinkelephantproducts.com/calendar-of-events) to stay in the loop about our latest group volunteer events, fundraising events, and vendor shows! You just never know who you'll run in to!
Good article with great pictures of Tiny Homes: