While a small minority may be time-wasters, the majority of homeless people are on the streets because their lives have crashed in some significant way. Victims of abuse, financial or physical disability - the GHE suggests a communal housing structure that provides basic housing conditions for the homeless.

This requires a plot of land with specific buildings and staff.


All buildings should be decently built, look presentable, with basic décor and greenery. Positive words that encourage and inspire a communal ethos could be art. The site should be maintained and cleaned every day.

The plot of land should be gated with CCTV and security staff who monitor the site. Tenants have to pass the concierge to enter the site. Those who are not tenants or staff may not enter.

One part of the site should be dedicated to housing. This involves small but functional, lockable cubicles that have good soundproofing and are designed for safety (of persons and possessions) and sleep. Housing sites could be separated for men and women and smoking and non-smoking. Shared bathrooms that are cleaned regularly. Places to throw trash.

There should be an area with sinks where clothes can be washed (by hand) and dried. There should be an ethos of respect for others and trustworthiness; although CCTV could provide safety where laundry is hung out to dry.

There should be a basic indoor area with newspapers and seats. There should be one room that tenants are free to use when requested, for example, to create 'talking groups' to discuss issues of their choice.

There should be an outside area for smoking and gardens with open and closed spaces and seats.

There should be both an indoor and outdoor space for 24 activity, in comparison with the housing block, which requires 'quiet time' from 10pm onwards and places emphasis on respect for the rest of others).

Basic items like newspapers, papers, pens, soap, toothbrushes, mirrors, bed sheets, pillows, sound-blocking ear plugs, hairbrushes, combs, a towel and detergent should be provided.

Various requests would be decided on a discretionary basis. 


The site provides people with an address and there should be a department that assists tenants with fixing up their identity paperwork etc. if necessary and facilitating their access to basic medical care. 

Living at the site is free for homeless tenants although staff members may be sourced from the tenants (they could be paid at a rate lower than external staff because they do not have to pay rent and it still provides them with an income). Tenants could be trained to work in the various departments on the site.

One department provides haircuts. One first aid department etc. with anti-conceptionals. One department for mental health, emotional and substance misuse issues. A properly supervised crêche facility would help parents get back to work.

A Self-Sustaining Economic Unit

What distinguishes this arrangement, therefore, is that it can become an economic unit that either brings in income or at least helps to sustain itself. 

The site could employ and train gardeners, odd job men, security staff, administrators, seamstresses, hairdressers, beauticians and cleaners (although no tenant would be forced to work). 

There are issues about food (and chefs). External soup kitchens should be relocated to the site.


Where people are able to rehabiliate their lives and rebuild their personal capacities, they can leave and lead independent lives by themselves. 

Communal living arrangements can provide safety, help struggling people with domestic household maintenance, facilitate social and emotional rehabilitation and engender cost reductions for governments.

Tiny Homes

Cubicles in Japan
Cubicles in Japan