The Clarion

The Occupy Madison Village consists of 5 Tiny Homes

In exchange for volunteer work around The Village and adhering to community guidelines, residents can live in the Tiny Homes on the property, which are reserved for those who are homeless or in great need of shelter.

Christopher Bird, Staff Writer

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The Occupy Madison Village is a “cooperatively run, self-managed eco-village for formerly homeless people to live in a sustainable way,” wrote Brenda Konkel of Occupy Madison. The Village recently visited Madison College as a part of the Volunteer Fair on Feb. 19. If you missed them there you can learn more about the project created by non-profit Occupy Madison, Inc.

Located at 2050 E Johnson St, The Village is a small neighborhood comprised of five Tiny Homes, a greenhouse, and a main building that is aiming to provide community and housing to the formerly homeless.

In exchange for volunteer work around The Village and adhering to community guidelines, residents can live in the Tiny Homes on the property, which are reserved for those who are homeless or in great need of shelter. The community agreement is different from similar projects because there is no set time that a resident will be staying.

According to Allen Barkoff, they are not trying to put limits on their residents’ stays. Rather, the goal is to accept those in need until they can find better housing, and The Village will accept all who are willing to adhere to their community guidelines.

The project receives some funding by selling goods made in the on-site workshop by volunteers and residents, as well as selling plants grown in the Occupy Madison gardens and on-site Greenhouse. Other funding comes from donations and grants.

“The goal is to work as a cooperative,” said Barkoff. The Village is meant not only to provide shelter for those who need it, but also create a community to support their residents and encourage them to become involved in it. The structure of the group is not hierarchal, and members of the community all receive an equal vote in decision-making for the project.

The community is still small in scope, with only seven residents having lived in the homes, and four residents currently. If they can get funding, the group has plans to expand and would like to add a community room, more houses, laundry facilities, another bathroom, and improve the workshop. The Village is hoping to secure funding through grants with the help of the UW School of Human Ecology.

Five Madison College students joined these volunteers through the Volunteer Fair. If you would like to learn more about the Occupy Madison Village or get involved with the project, you can find out more at occupymadisoninc.com.

The Village store is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. If you have a bit of a green thumb and want to contribute, there is also a plant sale coming up on May 4 and 5.

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The Occupy Madison Village consists of 5 Tiny Homes