More than 580,000 people across the US experienced homelessness in 2021, with that number expected to rise with the cost of living crisis.
States across the country are dealing with that in different ways. In Salt Lake City, Utah, they’re looking to take out two birds with one stone with their newest project: a fully sustainable housing development for people experiencing chronic homelessness, serving an environmental impact goal while also providing housing for those in need.
Living on the Other Side
The organization behind the development is known as The Other Side Village, and has an end goal to provide a permanent housing option for people that are chronically unsheltered in the area.
The program is primarily targeting people dealing with a mental health or drug condition, as those are the people that tend to have the most difficulty maintaining consistent housing.
The village will be split into two smaller neighborhoods both featuring 30 cottage-style homes that are fully equipped with housing amenities. It will have a bodega, and plans to start a donut shop and succulent plant arrangement business. The goal of the businesses is to provide the people living their employment opportunities if they are struggling to find it elsewhere.
People behind The Other Side Village understand the difficulties of life and what makes a place like the village so enticing. For example, Maurice “Moe” Egan, the Director of Neighbor Recruitment for the Other Side, was homeless himself and until he found a place that served him right found it hard to make any changes.
“After many attempts at drug rehabs and serving multiple jail sentences, Moe was accepted to Delancey Street, a place that changed his life,” their website says. “It was at Delancey Street that Moe was finally able to recalibrate his moral compass and overcome traumas of the past.”
The goal is to have the village open by 2023. You can donate to support its mission on the Other Side Village website.