Led by UNC Psychiatry and UNC Social Work faculty and staff, the tiny home community in Chatham County will open next spring at The Farm at Penny Lane, which provides a variety of mental health services. Soon it will provide independent living in a nourishing community.
The Farm at Penny Lane is already home to several services to help nurture and heal individuals with severe mental health challenges. Next spring, The Farm will be home to 15 individuals living in tiny houses already constructed on a scenic piece of land in Chatham County, NC, between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill.
This fall, the UNC Center of Excellence for Community Health in the UNC Department of Psychiatry, held an open house and dedication event to showcase the tiny home community before individuals with mental health challenges move in. This program, in partnership with the UNC School of Social Work, the nonprofit Cross Disability Services (XDS), and Garman Homes, has been 10-years in the making and has been led by Thava Mahadevan at the UNC School of Medicine and director of XDS and Amy Wilson at the UNC School of Social Work.
Housing insecurity is one of the major roadblocks to healing for people with mental health conditions. Also, building community can be vital in helping people flourish. The tiny home community could become a national model in addressing two major problems that people with mental health challenges face.