People who suffer from mental illness need the support of family and friends, but it’s also important for them to meet others that understand what they’re going through. They also need the right methods and tools to begin recovery. In Chatham County, North Carolina, a tiny house development is in the works to specifically help them find safe and affordable housing.
According to a report by WUNC, many people live off of low incomes, averaging at $750 in support from the federal government. That’s why the Director of Operations Thavagunan Mahadevan—who works with the Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health centered at UNC’s Chapel Hill—is directing the life-changing project. He is confident the project can bring great changes to the community.
"It is such a critical issue and unfortunately, there aren't any obvious solutions that are out there," said Mahadevan to WUNC. "I think this could be a game changer."
Each tiny home would cost $250 a month in rent. There will be 10 homes in total measuring 300 square feet, complete with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living room. The Center currently owns Farm At Penny Lane, a 40-acre space located in Pittsboro. According to their site, the farm “uses a holistic and sustainable approach to enhancing the quality of life of individuals with severe and persistent mental illness by offering opportunities to become healthier and more self-sufficient.” These opportunities will include a community garden, an apiary with a total of nine beehives, a flock of chickens, a walking trail and a greenhouse.
Once completed, this will be the first tiny home project in the nation specifically dedicated to helping people with mental illnesses.