INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A group of urban missionaries say they have a solution to help the homeless in our city: tiny home communities. It's an idea they say has worked in other cities. People seem to like the idea, until it's time to build the homes in their neighborhood.
Anthony Parsley and Candy Clay have both been homeless for more than two years. They're strangers brought together by similar circumstances – living on the streets of Indianapolis after their housing expenses became too much. Now, they call homeless camps home.
"The weather has mostly been the biggest issue. The cold in the winters, then the hot and the rain," Clay said.
Urban missionary Leon Longard says he has the solution: a tiny home village for the homeless. It's temporary housing just until they get back on their feet. Longard introduced the idea nearly two years ago, but now his vision is at a stand still.
"People will say, 'Well it's a wonderful idea,' but you start talking about putting it on a lot in their neighborhood, and they start to think maybe we don't want it here," Longard said.
Longard says he has donors on board to help build and sustain the homes, but he hasn't found anyone to welcome the homeless.
"It's the perception of what they fear is going to happen that causes them not to see the possibility of what could happen if we work together to create places for people like Andy and Candy," Longard said.
Mayor Hogsett announced that 400 more permanent supportive housing units have been identified. Longard says he's proud of the city's five-year plan to end homelessness, but in the meantime, his friends are being evacuated from homeless camps and don't have time to wait.
"Not knowing if you're going to be safe that night or if somebody is going to break in and do something to you or steal everything you got," Clay said.
Longard says he’s looking to partner with a neighborhood willing to welcome the tiny homes village for the homeless into their community. To learn more about his mission click here