Saturday, January 17, 2009


About a week ago, a UK news agency contacted me about the Homeless Chateau.  I have no idea where, or if, the story will show up in print, but in the meantime here's a brief excerpt:

H.M. – Did you make it to be used?  Has anyone used it yet?  What did they think of it?

J.W. – I did make it to be used, but the project was originally conceived as a kind of interactive art piece and investigation into extreme downsizing.  I do believe the Homeless Chateau, or something like it, could help homeless people, in some situations.  But homelessness is such a complex issue, involving so many different kinds of people and a broad range of extenuating circumstances.  There really is no quick fix or easy solution, except perhaps tons of money, wisely and intelligently spent.  As long as 60% of our income tax in the US continues to go to the Pentagon, I really don't see this level of help coming from the government.

Several people have been inside the Homeless Chateau, and the small, cozy space seems to take them back to their childhoods, in that it reminds them of being in playhouses and making forts.  Needless to say, kids love the Homeless Chateau.  The response adults have to it seems to alternate between a warm fuzzy feeling and thinking, "Wow, this could be me reduced to living in a box on wheels."

Image from the Hunger Site's "Child Health: Artisan Stories."

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