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"PBS NewsHour Weekend" Feature - Micro Cabins in Arkansas

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You’ve seen small houses before, but have you ever heard of a micro cabin?

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Born as an offshoot of the tiny house movement — a popular name for the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes for financial, environmental and/or ideological  reasons — the cabins are designed  to have a small footprint; in this case, the cabins are 32’ square. 

In Russellville, however, the cabins are focused less on size than on their residents. The Russ Bus — an extension of The One, Inc. —  is a local non-profit dedicated to helping the area homeless. In addition to a variety of other initiatives, The Russ Bus is constructing micro cabins to provide efficient transitional housing, comfort and dignity.

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Currently, The Russ Bus maintains four cabins, constructed of 2”x4”s and spray insulation; each cabin costs approximately $600 to build. As part of their other services, The Russ Bus also offers showers and laundry to residents each week.

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The length of residents’ stays vary widely, from just a matter of weeks to several months, while they work to find permanent housing. The micro cabins give individuals warmth, security, privacy and dignity not afforded by tents or improvised shelters. It also affords them unique opportunities — like continuing their jobs without interruption and the ability to wait on a housing list — that might not otherwise be available.

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To learn more about The Russ Bus, its micro cabins and various additional projects supporting the homeless in Arkansas, visit their Facebook page.

AETN "PBS NewsHour Weekend" features are created to provide additional local news and information to the people of Arkansas. These features examine pressing issues in our state, as well as innovative solutions, in order to great dialogues on improving life for all in the state. If you’d like to suggest a story for a PBS NewsHour Weekend feature, please email jgibson@aetn.org.

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The Russ Bus