Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It's Giving Tuesday: A Few Dollars Could Help Build Huts to House Tucson's Homeless

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 4:30 PM

"We should not have our neighbors living like this.  Tucson-We can do better." - COURTESY OF MICHELE REAM
  • Courtesy of Michele Ream
  • "We should not have our neighbors living like this. Tucson-We can do better."

There are still a few hours left into this Giving Tuesday—how about investing in a locally-founded project that hopes to give Tucson's thousands of homeless residents a place to sleep and store their things.

Community Supported Shelters Tucson came to be in the summer of 2013 thanks to a group of advocates, which includes long-time homeless activist Michele Ream, who work with homeless people in trying to find housing, shelter, re-issue IDs, etc. It began as a movement to "engage the community in addressing the critical need for basic shelter and security" for our community members experiencing homelessness, and who are ineligible for a shelter bed, for instance, because they do not have an ID, and who aren't allowed to sit on a sidewalk or park to rest.

From those issues came the idea of building huts that could be placed at churches, private residences, and so on, where people could sit, sleep and temporarily live.

From the project's Go Fund Me page:
Much as we suspected, we have found the “hut” model works exceptionally well, especially for those that do not have options within the current limited framework of shelter and housing services in our community. Huts are able to meet their needs in a super cost effective and humane manner. They can bring basic shelter, security and stability to our community members who have no other options. Most importantly this is what the homeless folks I work with are saying they want and need. Community Supported Shelters Tucson is being modeled after already successful programs in cities such as Eugene, Oregon and Madison, Wisconsin. 
Your donation will help the nonprofit (the project got its nonprofit status back in January):
- Design and build a standardized prototype that can be used to educate the community about the concept of Homeless Huts, which is approaching completion. 

- Design and build a custom Hut out of alternative materials to serve as a model and residence for a currently homeless individual

- Purchase several power tools (table saw, compound miter saw, drill) to facilitate building

- Purchase promo items (stickers and t-shirts) to help get the word out about what we are doing
The organization plans to host an open house in December so that people can check out what's been developed thus far.

To donate, visit the project's Go Fund Me page.

click to enlarge A nearly completed hut. - COURTESY OF MICHELE REAM
  • Courtesy of Michele Ream
  • A nearly completed hut.

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