Tiny Housing for the Homeless

One of the reasons I wrote my novella “Big Love,” was to play around with the idea of using tiny houses to address the issue of homelessness in our country.

Now, I don’t want to pretend my story is something it’s not, because it is mostly a humorous “will they fall in love” type story. But my protagonist, Berly Charles, builds tiny houses for a living. One of the key scenes in the story revolves around a community-wide build, similar to a Habitat for Humanity build, where Berly and her friends come together to construct tiny houses for homeless citizens. Her interest in tiny houses and the homeless stems from a key childhood incident.

So that’s one side of the love equation. The other side is Nathan Rafferty, a prestigious journalist for the architecture industry, who thinks reporting on the tiny house craze is beneath him. He looks down his very upturned nose at the idea of tiny houses—also for reasons that stem from his childhood.

When they come together, they are undeniably drawn to each other. So, there’s plenty of conflict, misunderstanding, and humorous mayhem to go around.

Bookmark TH Ehret

Since writing the novella, I’ve remained connected to parts of the tiny house community and have been interested, particularly, in ways to use tiny houses to address the issues associated with homelessness. Recently a story from HuffPost’s “Road Trip: Listen to America” series caught my attention. Watch the 7:55-minute video below.


A solution to homelessness?

Here’s another interesting possibility that was featured on the Tiny House Talk website—stackable tiny houses built out of concrete water pipes that “measure just 100 sq. ft. and cost about $15,000. They can be stacked and therefore be used as a temporary housing solution in places like shipyards, under highways, or even in-between buildings.” (Tiny House Talk)

What do you think about these ideas? Do you have other ideas for how to address the housing needs of the homeless? Share in a comment.

Contains the novella Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection, which contains “Big Love,” is now available. If you’re intrigued by the idea of using tiny houses for the homeless, or about tiny houses at all, this would be a good time to pick up the collection. All seven novellas feature tiny houses as part of their stories.

Michael Ehret’s novella, ‘Big Love’, tackles the hard topics of homelessness, revenge, how memories change you and finally the biggest of all: forgiveness. — From an Amazon reader review.


Mike-9Michael Ehret loves to play with words and as the author of “Big Love,” a novella within Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection, he is enjoying his playground. Previous playgrounds include being the Managing Editor of the magazine ACFW Journal and the ezine Afictionado for seven years. He also plays with words as a freelance editor and has edited several nonfiction books, proofedited for Abingdon Press, worked in corporate communications, and reported for The Indianapolis Star.


Quote It! Barbara Kingsolver

“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

Barbara Kingsolver, an American novelist, essayist, and poet. Author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Lacuna, among others.

This strikes me as truth, for writers. Akin to the advice to not “chase the market” because by the time you figure out what’s hot, it won’t be.

But there’s more to Kingsolver’s advice than that, isn’t there? For me, she’s also suggesting that we each have a passion. We each have a handle that turns the crank on our personal ice cream maker.

My passion is shining the light of God into the dark places of love, marriage, and life together. I want to illuminate the things many married people are afraid of because when the Light shines, darkness flees and the Boogeyman is unmasked.

What about you? What’s your passion? Why do you write what you write?

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line