Nonprofits work to build villages of tiny homes for homeless people in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. — Two nonprofits are trying to help solve the housing shortage and get people of the streets.

The organizations are working on separate multi-million dollar projects to build villages of tiny homes where homeless people can live.

Brad Johnson is the founder of Eden Village Tulsa and he has big plans for a 17 acre site, near Charles Page Boulevard, west of downtown Tulsa.

“It’ll be a community center farm, 70 tiny homes, and people that were living in the streets under a bridge that are living in a safe secure great home,” he said.

Johnson said there are already 11 other Eden Villages across the country that are successful.

He also said there’s not enough housing at the moment in Tulsa and this project could help with that.

“We are short about 500 units, as far as housing for the homeless, they just don’t exist, they’re not out there, so you know, if we can get this thing rolling, build some more, then we’ll at least be making a dent into the problem,” Johnson said.

Eden Village Tulsa’s project will cost $5.2 million to build.

Meanwhile Sarah Grounds, the executive director of the City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma, has plans to build a village of tiny homes on a 3 acre site near 46th Street North and Peoria.

“Being able to settle and have a safe dignified home is important and necessary and we as a community, it’s time we step up and start offering those things,” she said.

The land was donated by Catholic Charities and Catholic Diocese of Eastern Oklahoma. City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma is planning to build 75 homes in total, costing $8 million to $13 million.

Housing Solutions said they help around 2,000 homeless people a month in Tulsa. Grounds said the tiny homes village is vital in the answer to that problem.

“We don’t have enough options to put people in housing, to be able to fulfil that and so we’ve got to start doing other things, we’ve got to start looking at other alternatives for providing home for people,” she said.

Both sites are planning to grow food and have community centers. And both projects, although separate, said the Tulsa community needs to work together to help the homeless community.

“It’s not necessarily the tiny home is the answer, I really think housing and community, together are the answer,” said Grounds.

“We believe it’s also going to give hope to the thousands that are on the streets right now in Tulsa,” said Johnson.

People will pay rent in both villages and while both projects are fundraising right now, they both hope to break ground next year.