An architect reworked disused delivery containers right into a tiny home village for the homeless in Las Vegas, the place greater than 1,800 folks have lived

  • Arnold Stalk, an architect who worked with the homeless, was inspired to build houses out of shipping containers after seeing dozens of them sitting idle in ports.

  • He founded Share Village in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1994, building modern homes out of shipping containers.

  • The village has housed more than 1,800 people and given more than 360,000 beds.

  • On March 2nd, they opened a new village called Share Village # 2.

  • You can find more stories on the Insider homepage.

When Arnold Stalk, an architect who works with homeless shelters, was on a cruise in the 1980s, he discovered dozens of disused shipping containers in the ports he passed – and he had an idea.

Stalk, who was a former professor of architecture, worked with students to come up with ideas on how the containers could be converted into homes in Las Vegas, Nevada. He eventually created prototypes that he refined to be accessible and government approved. The community known as Share Village was founded in 1994.

For the past 25 years, homeless veterans and other homeless people have lived in the container house community. This month, more than 25 years after Share Village was born, a second village, Share Village # 2, opened for people in need.

Check out the shipping container village of Stalk that its colleagues created for the homeless in Las Vegas.

“There is only one way to solve the homeless problem in our country and that is to build additional houses,” architect Arnold Stalk told Insider.

The stalk pictured on the left has been working with the homeless for 42 years.

After graduating from architecture school, he began volunteering with AmeriCorps VISTA, a national foundation that helps fight poverty. At VISTA he worked among other architects and they started building community centers.

“The first project was the methadone heroin addict clinic on Skid Row. And it was one community project at a time, so this is a good run, ”he said.

He came up with the idea of ​​building houses out of shipping containers during a cruise, where he saw dozens of abandoned containers in ports.

As early as 1986, Stalk was on a cruise when he saw the huge “steel boxes”. He began to think about their dimensions and how they could be used.

“The 8 foot wide, 40 foot long, and 8 foot high shipping containers are one of the few standardized industrial products in the world. And there are roughly 12 million of them living in ports and ports around the world, ”he said.

He said he recognized that the containers could create a “perfect home network”.

He said they could be converted into suitable homes quickly and cheaply.

Not only were they abundant, but they are ideally sized for micro-packages.

Stalk said he thinks shipping containers could do a lot of good as short-term shelter for the victims of the Nashville tornado.

Inside, the shipping container houses are cozy and clean, with beds, storage space and bathrooms.

Share Village has so far hosted 1,834 people and given beds to 366,942 people.

The houses themselves are larger than most small houses, so they have ample living space.

The houses are divided into three different rooms: a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen / living area.

The homes come in two sizes: a smaller unit measuring 160 square feet and a larger unit measuring 320 square feet.

The living area offers space for a small table and a cooking area.

Although Stalk says he understands why many people don’t want to live in affordable housing, he is trying to change that perspective by creating clean, high quality, affordable housing.

The bathroom in this new home in Share Village is spacious and has an accessible toilet.

A new village, Share Village # 2, opened on March 2nd, 2020.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Stalk said, “This is just one solution of many things that I believe we should be doing in the construction industry, the architecture community, and the philanthropy community.”

The shower is also accessible.

According to, about 41% of those who served in Afghanistan, Iraq and other war zones after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have a disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs, compared to 25% of veterans from other eras.

The houses are also equipped with the most modern amenities such as solar panels.

Stalk uses green technologies like solar panels in their homes to make the homes sustainable over the long term.

Share Village not only provides housing, but also helps feed their community.

Share Village has a huge amount of community support.

“People come in three times a week and get all kinds of really good quality meat, cheese and dairy products,” said Stalk.

They have been sponsored by local companies and big brands like Starbucks who donate uneaten food at the end of the day.

To date, Share Village has distributed 2,457,664 pounds of groceries and served 130,081 meals.

Stalk has raised funds from both the public and private sectors to help fund Share Village. Their efforts were funded in part by the Venetian Hotel, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the local union.

The Las Vegas community has come together to support Share Village.

Although Share Village is in the middle of a residential neighborhood, Stalk says that luckily he doesn’t experience a lot of “nimbyism” or the “not in my backyard” attitude.

“I think we get along very well with our neighbors. We do our own safety. I’m a little biased, but it’s a big, well-run operation, ”he said.

Share Village has also created a sense of community for otherwise mostly isolated people.

Although Stalk says the “minimal living environment is not for everyone,” they have managed to build a real community. Events and outreach programs are also held weekly.

A homeless couple met and even fell in love in the village and were featured in a story in the Review Journal.

“Stories like this are not uncommon. You just don’t hear a lot of them, ”said Stalk.

On March 2nd, celebrities from stalk and Las Vegas cut the ribbon at Share Village # 2.

Stalk recently added a completely new shared apartment to its residential project. Subsidized rent for each home ranges from $ 200 to $ 300 per month, which is far cheaper than a typical Las Vegas apartment.

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