“In a massive North Loop warehouse in Minneapolis, a unique tiny home shelter space is taking shape.
It’s called the Avivo Village — a shelter within a shelter.
‘We’re calling them tiny homes, they really are rooms,’ says Emily Bastian, Avivo’s vice president of ending homelessness. ‘Something COVID-safe, something that they could know that their belongings are going to be secured. That they could lock things up when they weren’t here. Where they could go 24/7.’
The $2 million dollar project was built in just four months.
It’s part of a two-year, $6 million pilot program funded by state, county and city funds.
‘I think it’s exciting and it’s a good idea,’ says Cheryl, who’s been staying at the village since Dec. 30.
Before that, she says she was living in encampments and at friends’ homes for several years.
‘It feels good to not have to make sure that the stakes are down in the ground when (a tent) starts to float,’ she said
Right now, there are only 16 residents in the village, but Avivo hopes to increase that number to 100 by March.
Each room has enough space for a twin-sized bed and a comforter. There’s lighting, heat, and electrical outlets, with lockable doors on the inside and out.
‘They know their belongings are safe. Pets are allowed,’ Bastian said. ‘They can come and go as they want.’
There are individual, COVID-safe showers and bathrooms. Nearby are spaces for safe-distancing meetings with family members.
Bastian says the average expected stay will be between 45 and 60 days.”