Our desire to build a tiny home community for those experiencing homelessness grew out of outreach by a local church, St. Stephen Lutheran in New Kingstown. The congregation supports those living out of cars who utilize area truck stops for food, showers, and laundry. Members of the congregation and community banded together to create Emmaus Village. Learn more about our history here.
Photo Credit: Ev on Unsplash
Why Tiny Homes?
Our tiny home community will be a new addition to the other five types of shelter offered throughout Cumberland County and the only program to offer up to two years of permanent housing. Tiny homes are more affordable, have a smaller carbon footprint, and offer their residents a sense of pride. This type of program is being offered across the country with great success. To find out more, read this white paper by our friends at Community Frameworks.**
** Community Frameworks is a nonprofit housing developer and NeighborWorks® America Chartered Member based in Washington State, whose mission is to create affordable housing as a catalyst to help communities thrive.
Watch an interview with Rev. Matt Best on "Focused on Success" with Dave Romeo.
The Local Need
During a recent one-day count within Cumberland County, PA, approximately one hundred individuals were identified as being homeless. A local school district reports 34 homeless students in its body. These numbers do not reflect others who are also vulnerable. On the Miracle Mile, a one-mile stretch of Route 11 between Interstate 81 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, approximately 150 people live in motels and pay a weekly rate of $250-450. Many are employed but cannot save enough for the security deposit most apartments require. They are just one car repair or illness away from losing their job and living without shelter. Learn more from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Read a blog article by Rev. Best.
Photo Credit: Nick Fewings