City Council approves Indoor Village for Minneapolis homeless

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved nearly $2 million from the federal CARES Act for the Indoor Villages project—a proposal that would create 100 indoor tiny homes to provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness. 

The idea was inspired by the success of tiny outdoor communities in other parts of the country. But with winter approaching, organizers imagine a village of small private shelters indoors.  

The Indoor Villages project will create 100 tiny houses with a larger indoor space. Each would be a warm, safe place where someone's possessions could be locked up. The plan also includes ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The project will be funded by a combination of private and public sources including nearly $2-million from the federal CARES Act. 

There has been a large number of tent encampments around the Twin Cities this summer and fall, but as the temperatures start to get colder, winter presents some real challenges. 

According to the project’s developers, the tiny shelters are designed for individuals and couples who often fall through the cracks of traditional shelter and hotel systems. They are not designed to accommodate families with more than two members.  

In a series of tweets, Mayor Jacob Frey thanked those who've been championing the project saying, "unsheltered homelessness is a worsening crisis, and we can't leave any option off the table.” 

The city is in talks to lease a warehouse on South Washington Avenue in the North Loop, with the goal to have the tiny house village up and running by the end of the year.