Nonprofit’s tiny home program helps put an end to homelessness

Good News Notes:

The facts are startling. On any given night, approximately 41,000 young adults will be homeless. Many are all alone on the streets.

Without help, it can often lead to a life of instability. Now, a non-profit is aiming to reverse that course with a colorful new neighborhood just for them.

Ernie Sandoval is just settling into his new place. While just eight by 10 feet, about the size of a college dorm room, each with a lofted bed, a closet, desk, chair, electricity, and heat, Ernie says his tiny home feels like a mansion to him.

Sandoval says, “I was on the streets before this for about five years. It can mess up someone’s mentality, you know, having to eat out of a garbage can or having to sleep behind a dumpster. And this place brought me to a point where I can be able to handle myself while I’m trying to go to school.”

Ernie now calls the tiny house “Empowerment Village” in Oakland, California home.

The executive director, Sally Hindman, explains that “this is really a safe place for them, in some cases, the safest place they’ve been in a long time.”

Hindman, from the non-profit Youth Spirit Artworks, shepherded the effort. She says that “over 2,500 volunteers worked with the youth in fulfilling their dream.”

Sean McCreary was homeless as a teen and decided to pay it forward.

“I think just overall it’s all been a community effort to see this thing through. I really feel inspired,” McCreary said of the homes.

Caring for the homeless in a completely new way. Hindman said, “the model is creating wraparound services for homeless youth that include job training, community meetings, shared meals, recreational activities and doing chores for the village.”…

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