Ruth D. Anderson Special for News and Record
Tiny House Community Development, a 501©3 nonprofit organization, creates Tiny House communities throughout North Carolina to provide safe, permanent, and affordable housing for homeless people.
These communities consist of three to 10 units on individual lots and the tiny houses are rented out to residents based on their income and current circumstances. Currently working in Greensboro, High Point, and Winston Salem, the nonprofit’s mission extends beyond the physical construction of tiny homes.
THCD board member Mary Seigler explained how the non-profit organization provides social workers and staff who help residents move in and readapt to life in a home and be a new one. with other people.
“I love that these residents aren’t forgotten once they move in. And the transformation from homeless to new resident is so heartwarming to see,” Seigler said. For example, monthly resident meetings and home inspections help residents take care of their homes and surroundings. Additionally, a community garden provides fresh vegetables and a reason to be outdoors and around their neighbors.
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The non-profit organization focuses on engaging a coalition of diverse individuals and local organizations that aim to reduce homelessness through public and private partnerships.
For example, THCD works with local non-profit housing organizations (CoCs) that help qualify potential residents. Additionally, Scott Jones, executive director of THCD, said another important collaboration is with Goodwill Industries, which offers specialized training to help individuals gain carpentry skills and certification.
THCD’s Workforce Development Program offers a 12-week job training program to select homeless clients that provides them with job and life skills training, case management, and referral at the end of the program. THCD has full-time and part-time positions where clients learn basic construction skills by building tiny houses, chicken coops, garden boxes and condensation moss through the Non-Profit Foam Recycling Project lucrative Triad. In addition to building basics, clients have the opportunity to learn about banking, budgeting, interview techniques, and basic lifestyle choices.
Emma Holland, case manager at THCD, said every Saturday’s THCD Breakfast 4 Our Friends takes them outside the walls of the agency to engage with people who are homeless and who may be disconnected from mainstream services. Holland explained that volunteers make and bring breakfast items while other items are donated by local businesses or individuals. This time helps build supportive relationships, gives people information and options, and hopefully improves the ability to access needed services that will help them get off the streets.
“Whether it’s finding a blanket or a tent for someone, teaching skills like carpentry to help someone get a better job, feeding the homeless every Saturday morning at the city or helping someone with independent housing, THCD is ready to help,” Seigler said.
While “Building Little Homes with Big Hearts” is THCD’s motto, Seigler said THCD is also rebuilding lives with big hearts.