How LBC Started
One evening, not long ago, I was watching an old episode of “Dr. Finlay”. It’s a British TV series set in the 1940s. The lead character is a doctor who sets up the new National Health Service and the modernization of the medical practice at Arden House in Tannochbrae, Scotland. A particular statement made by Dr Finlay caught my attention so much that to this day I can’t get it out of my head. Dr. Finlay asked where a certain woman lived, and another woman responded: “She lives in the little blue cottages (cabins) that the church built for poor people to live in.” This statement had a profound impact on me. Here is a potential solution for the unhoused people in our community. It sparked something in me on a personal level. This could happen if someone takes the lead and encourages others; churches, organizations, governments, community members, as well as the unhoused to come up with a solution and work together to implement it and operate it.
Hence, my journey began - a journey into the world of Tiny House Villages, or Cabin Communities. There are hundreds of these all over North America, with a variety of different models. After much sifting through the Internet, I discovered three workable models that operate in similar weather climates to ours. Also, they are doing more than housing; they are walking alongside people to start new lives. This appealed greatly to me, as I don't believe in band-aid solutions. I contacted the founders and operators of these three organizations; HATS in Hamilton, Our Livable Solutions in Kingston and Second Wind Cottages in Newfield, NY. All three of these inquiries resulted in the organizations sharing information, research, surveys, challenges, criticisms, and outcomes with me. They have successful operations in place, and have offered to help us do the same.
This is a preliminary outline of how I see this working in the Bancroft and area community. There is no point in reinventing the wheel here when we can use the experiences from other successful Tiny Cabin Villages.
I believe that if someone spearheads a well-researched and thought out plan of action, then the entire community will come together to help. There are countless examples of this community coming together in other endeavors with generosity, if there is a plan in place and things are moving forward. Haven’t we already talked and speculated enough over this concern? I believe it is past time to move forward with an actionable solution and the community will jump on board. Once a location is secured, a team will be assembled, which will begin the process of preparing a detailed budget and plan of action to commence immediately. Simultaniously, we will be to talk with the unhoused community about the plan and get their input.
Thank you for your interest in this concern. May we work together to eliminate the 'unhoused' crisis here. It’s more than housing, although 'housing first' has been proven to be the best initial step. It's about walking alongside those in need of a fresh start, an improved life, permanent housing, combined with education, health, social services, employment and dignity.
Chair - Little Blue Cabins