Looks like recent fires at homeless encampments in Kalamazoo has lit a fire under a pastor to get an initiative going to get Tiny Homes built for the homeless. Pastor William Stein has even started raising funds through a GoFundMe page to get the ball rolling. Stein's goal is 100 tiny homes funded through his faith based charity Shelter Kalamazoo.

“Many of the folks I’ve talked to out there, they’re looking for a hand up, not a handout. Because of circumstances pertaining to COVID, because people have been evicted, because they can’t afford to pay rent, they find themselves in this circumstance,” Stein said. -WOODTV 8

Some temporary aluminum shelters is first on the docket to allow time for the tiny homes to be built and for the homeless individuals to save some money to eventually purchase a tiny home as many can't afford the option of steep apartment pricing.

“If you’re economically disenfranchised, you can’t afford $2,500 in order to move into an apartment. You may not even have $100, let alone $2,500 to provide a deposit of first and last months’ rent,” Stein said. - WOODTV 8

Stein also feels that finding jobs and resources for mental health and other issues is key to the programs success as well.

“A home is a foundation from which we build and so by these folks having a foundation by which to reconstruct their lives,” he said. “It will positively affect the individual.”

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development there are over 700 homeless in the Kalamazoo area and the numbers are expected to rise in the coming months.

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