DENVER – If you’ve driven through Denver’s RiNo Arts district, you may have noticed the tiny home village near 38th and Walnut Street moved about 200-feet closer to Blake.
It’s official name is the Beloved Community Village.
A 180-day relocation requirement by the City of Denver forced the $25,000 move.
“The requirement is presently the least sustainable aspect of our model,” Cole Chandler said. He’s a member of the Colorado Village Collaborative.
“It's costing us about $25,000 and it is displacing villagers,” Chandler added. “That money has fortunately been raised by the community. We had a very successful fundraiser last year called, ‘Move Along to Here,’ and we garnered about $20,000 worth of pledges from the community that evening.”
Chandler credited the City of Denver for stepping up and giving nearly $10,000 more for the move.
On Saturday, volunteers spent their morning reassembling stairs and rebuilding ramps at the new location. More work will be needed before neighbors can get occupancy permits and move back into the village’s eleven units.
At least 15 people were forced from their 8-by-12-foot homes on New Year’s Day to abide by the relocation requirement. “So, that was their sort of, ‘Happy New Year,’ Chandler said.
However, villager Cersilla Wolf said she is happy. She’s been a tiny village resident since July 2016.
The that time, she said she’s enrolled in school and has gained a new outlook on her circumstances. “There are still a few people that live here that still see themselves as homeless, but I'm not one of them.”
Wolf was one of the dozens of volunteers who helped to get some work done on Saturday.
Organizers continued to ask for other “do-it-yourselfers,” who own their own tools or, “Have some sort of rough carpentry experience,” as Chandler put it.
“As soon as we can get that done, we can get inspections and we can get people back in these houses,” he added.
Chandler has offered his e-mail address for anyone interested in helping out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Wolf, she said she’s ready to get back into her tiny home—one that has provided her with opportunities she wouldn't have found otherwise.
“When I graduate from CCD, I'm going to transfer to CU for one of their music programs. I haven't decided on which one yet,” she said.
Because Wolf wasn't worrying about shelter, she enrolled in school and got back on her feet.
“When I sleep in my bed, on my loft, and I get on my computer and I practice on my guitar or whatever-- I'm not just simply surviving here… I’m living.”