GTR Homeless Coalition completes first of ten tiny homes

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Getting the citizens of Lowndes County on the right path is the mission of the Golden Triangle Homeless Coalition.

The organization is working to bring a small hometown community to Columbus. The first tiny home is already ready.

Tiny Home Village coordinator Sandra Depriest said completing a Tiny Village home is the first step in a long process.

“The idea is to gradually develop an independent community, to help those who are homeless but are really invested in movement to want to move forward,” Depriest said.

This means that not just anyone can live in the village. Depriest said you have to actively look for work.

“We will work with people who have the desire and motivation to obtain a GED or take the Silver Key test so they can find a job,” Depriest said.

Depriest also said she knows some people need more than just a roof over their heads. Therefore, the small home village will also help those living in the houses with insurance, social services and finding work.

“We will provide computer access for applications to help them get started,” Depriest said.

“Those are difficult things to navigate, to help people become independent. Together with the people, it really offers the support they need,” says Depriest.

Joseph Mickens is a councilman and vice mayor of Ward 2 in Columbus. He said the small hometown will show people that the city is trying to help those in need.

“I’ve come to realize that people don’t care what you know, people want to know if you care. I think this here will show the people of Columbus that we do care. We not only care about those who are doing well, we also care about those we can help return to society and be effective in the community,” Mickens said.

The completed project will also accommodate people with disabilities and small families.

“Our layout includes an administrative building that we have already purchased, and then there will be ten residential units. Two will be for people with disabilities, two will be four families of up to four people, and there will be six houses, like the one behind me, that can accommodate one to two people,” Depriest said.

Depriest said the village is expected to be completed within a year.

She also said the village will rely on the community to help build the interior after the nine other homes are purchased.

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