Brainerd Group Striving to End Homelessness Acquires Property for Tiny Houses
The My Neighbor to Love Coalition has a goal of ending homelessness and extreme poverty in the Brainerd Lakes Area. People facing long-term homelessness or housing insecurity need a safe place of increased stability and health to help instill them with a sense of purpose.
“A lot of people are dealt a hard hand, and we just don’t understand,” says Vicky Kinney, executive director of My Neighbor to Love. “People can make a lot of quick judgments, about – ‘well, just get a job’ and ‘it’s your fault’ and ‘you guys are lazy, you’re a bunch of drug addicts,’ and it’s just not the case.”
Children and young adults under the age of 24 make up nearly half the homeless population in the state, making it that much more important that a new positive opportunity is provided for them. A project by the coalition has been designed around three sections of land that have already been purchased between 2nd Street and 3rd Street, and they’re ready for the next step in the building process.
Getting people off of the street and into homes is definitely maximizing the property, which is made possible because the homes are tiny houses with a minimum footprint of 440 square feet each. Getting 50 people off the streets is the first step towards helping them achieve a better life, and doing so would also save taxpayers about $1 million a year.
The community will be called Creekside, and organizers are currently undergoing the process of matching a $17,000 donation to help them break ground.