Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Making use of what we already use - #affordablehousing for the #homeless

This Billboard Serves as a Homeless Shelter—and Pays for Itself

How many street benches or billboards do you walk or drive past a day? What if these places could provide inexpensive shelter for the homeless?

In Vancouver, local organization RainCity Housing is adding “pop-up roofs” to benches to provide temporary shelter from the often-rainy city’s nights. Architecture firm Design Develop in Banksá Bystrica, Slovakia is converting the typically two-dimensional advertising billboards into small living quarters, fitted with electricity and large enough to hold a bed, kitchen, desk, and bathroom. Better yet, the space will pay for itself, once companies rent the advertisements, and can be adapted to suit most cities. In Madison, Wisconsin, some private land-owners are offering their space and organizing fundraisers to build “tiny houses” for the homeless. These 99-square-foot homes are like the billboard living quarters: they have a sink and composting toilet, use propane tanks for heat, and solar panels provide electricity. Unlike the bench roofs and billboard houses, though, tiny houses are clustered together and create a community among formerly homeless people.

Would any of these options work in your city as easy, inexpensive means of providing affordable housing? Do you know of other innovative programs working to provide shelter to the homeless? 


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