Local groups make progress on tiny homes for the homeless

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Posted at 1:04 PM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-07 22:35:34-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Two local groups are on a mission to get people off the streets.

News 3 first told you about the partnership between #KeepVaWarm and Tidewater Tenants Rights in February. Volunteers were raising money to build tiny homes for people without a home.

They're still working towards that goal. But in the meantime, in just days, they're building temporary housing pods.

"We just said, 'OK, look, we don't have time to wait, so we're just going to figure it out ourselves,' and that's exactly what we did," said Katrinia Freeman with the #KeepVaWarm Initiative. "For the pods, we wanted to make sure that they were one, cost effective so that we weren't spending a lot of money, and two, we wanted to make sure they are weatherproof."

The enclosed structure has shelves, room for a bed and windows. Organizers said there is also room for someone to move around inside.

"We've had numerous people to step up and say, 'Hey, we'll donate the locations, we'll donate the land,' so we have no problem with finding somewhere to place them," Freeman said.

However, before you see these pods pop up in your city, Freeman said, "We want to make sure we're working with the city and not working against them. We're trying to do the same things, so whatever recommendations that we have, we're going to follow it."

She said before someone is given a pod to temporarily stay in, they must agree to get help from local agencies and make an effort to get a job. In the event that they already have a job, Freeman wants them to start saving their money to get their own space.

"We're going to help them with trades, we're going to help them with employment, so that they can then turn around and be able to pay their own rent," she said. "We want to pour into our community like they have poured into us."