How can I support the new tiny house village?

At this point, honestly, we have to turn our attention to raising the money to finish the two villages.  The renovations and houses are proceeding as quickly as possible.  The northsiders have generously donated most of the items that people need to move in.  Volunteers have been able to nearly complete 15 houses and can produce 4 houses a week.  We hope to have 28 people off the streets by the end of the year, just 3 months after we put in the offer to purchase the property.  People keep asking how they can help – these are our preferred methods.We can use help with the following things.

  1.  Sign up to volunteer here. (shifts are added regularly, check back often)
  2. Donate to our GoFundMe page here.  You can also venmo, send a check to 304 N 3rd St. Madison WI 53704 or donate through paypal.  Yes, we have 501(c)(3) status.
  3. Share our GoFundMe page on-line.
  4. Sign up to become a sustainer – donating a monthly amount of money to help us with ongoing costs.
  5. Buy products from our on-line store/holiday sale. (check back, more items will be posted.)
  6. Donated items for the new village can be dropped off Saturday and Sunday 10 – noon at 1901 Aberg Ave.  Items we currently are accepting include:
    1. Bath Towels
    2. Laundry Soap
    3. Dish washing liquid, dishwasher soap
    4. Cleaning sprays, vinegar, bleach and cleaning supplies for bathrooms and showers
    5. Toilet paper
    6. Small lamps for in houses
    7. Small curtains and curtain rods. (32w x 14 H)
    8. Shower shoes
  7. Supplies for our woodshop can be dropped off at any time at 304 N 3rd Street.  Items we are looking for include:
    1. Untreated Dimensional Lumber (minimum length 6’) 1×4; 1×6; 2×4 ; 2×6; 2×8; 2×10; 2×12; 4×4
    2. Plywood (minimum size 4’x4’; please no OSB or Particle Board) 3/8”CDX; ½” CDX; ½” MDO
    3. Bulls Eye or Kilz Paint Primer
    4. Hardwoods: Cherry, Walnut, Hickory, Hackberry, Elm, Locust, Ash
    5. Other (please confirm we can use it before dropping off, we have a small space tp store it in!)
  8. Volunteer support items can be dropped off at 931 E Main Street (enter on Brearly side of the building, #17 to get in) during scheduled workshifts.  Items we need include:
    1. Bottled water and drinks for the volunteers
    2. Snacks/food for the volunteers

Upcoming things to watch for:

  1. A (chilly) garage sale for some items from Wiggies Bar and an opportunity to view the village once the houses are (mostly) in place.
  2. An on-line auction for larger and unique items from Wiggies Bar
  3. A grand opening as soon as COVID-19 is over!
  4. Many smaller fundraisers over the next year as we continue to try to raise an additional $400,000.

Occupy Madison receives Progressive Dane David Austin Award

We have been very busy with construction and getting 28 people off the streets by the end of the year.  We’ve had over 400 people volunteer to build tinier homes and over 400 people donate to Occupy Madison during this time.  All told, there have been about 1,000 people who are making this project happen.  This award goes to them!

Here’s a video of us getting the award presented to us at the village.


Here is the video from the Snowball where it was presented during the Snowball – the presentation is about a half hour into the video

Here is the introduction Dane County Board Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner did for the presentation of the award.

“Since 2011, Occupy Madison has been challenging local elected officials to end the criminalization of homelessness, address the unmet needs of people experiencing homelessness, and facilitate their creative and cooperative tiny housing solution.  OM is truly a housing policy innovator– it’s 3rd Street Village is the first tiny house village of formerly homeless people integrated into a residential neighborhood. In addition to the tiny houses, the village includes a greenhouse, raised bed gardens, a woodworking shop, and a store where OM goods are sold to support operations of the village.

Now, at a time when we are witnessing severe economic inequality, housing injustice, and a pandemic ravage our community, OM is harnessing volunteer power and member sweat equity to build more homes.  OM stepped up to respond to the urgent needs of people living outside by creating a 2nd tiny house village at the former site of Wiggie’s Bar on the northside of Madison.  It will be the home to 28 tinier houses as part of a temporary emergency housing program to keep people safe in the coming months.  In an incredibly short period of time in the last two months, OM launched this project, obtained temporary zoning, purchased the Wiggie’s site, obtained county support, and built 11 conestoga style tinier homes.

Cooperation is the culture of Occupy Madison.  Whether they’re crafting their vision, adopting rules, building houses, growing food, making goods, or operating the store, or lobbying elected officials, OM is committed to working together to get things done.  OM members are housed and unhoused. They are activists, organizers, developers, gardeners, and builders. They’ve changed laws, they’ve changed minds, and they’ve changed neighborhoods (including mine)… for the better.   Thank you, OM for challenging us and leading us.  You’ve inspired us and given us hope. You’ve shown us how we can take care of one another even in the most difficult times.”

We very much appreciate Supervisor Wegleitner’s kind words and are proud to have her a neighbor and our representative on the County Board!