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!

One thought on “Occupy Madison receives Progressive Dane David Austin Award”

  1. Brenda,

    I think you all have really got a great concept that will solve some immediate needs in Madison, and could be very useful in numerous other communities. Thank you so so much for your valuable work.

    I have ideas for taking this to the next level: hire the residents to fabricate, sell and setup Tiny Houses in needy communities…. Thus not only making your own house, but establishing employment & skills development to sustain and support you into the future thus addressing both short and long term needs…..

    I’d love to discuss and develop my ideas further. Who should I contact?


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: