The topic of homelessness in Sussex County has generated more and more attention over recent years, and, though it hasn’t reached the “epidemic” levels of some areas in the country, it is a serious issue in the county that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Jim Martin of Georgetown’s The Shephard’s Office approached Sussex County Council this week and asked for the County’s help in building a tiny-home village that could offer shelter to those in need.

“It would be a promising and cost-effective strategy for rapidly housing some of the most vulnerable county residents ... and putting them back on the path of self-sufficiency,” said Martin. “Why don’t we find a way to build these tiny structures in people’s back yards and rent them out to the working homeless? This could be a way to chip away at Sussex County’s affordable-housing crisis and hundreds of unsheltered cases.”

For starters, it’s upsetting that we even have to talk about “working homeless,” but here we are, and it’s time to start coming up with answers. The other thing that stands out about this is that Martin is looking for a solution that doesn’t simply involve arresting people for vagrancy or building another shelter (which we don’t deny is needed as well, by the way).

County Council did not address the topic, as it wasn’t on the agenda for discussion this week. And we’re not arguing that they should work with Martin on this project.

But new ideas are exciting. And that starts conversation.