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Group Pushes For Tiny Homes To Help The Homeless

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Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 00:28:18-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An attempted break-in won't stop one local group from pushing forward with a project members say could solve the affordable housing issue in Nashville.

With laminate floors, molding and air conditioning Rev. Jeff Obafemi Carr is currently living in a tiny house with almost everything.

“It's got vaulted ceilings, I can put loft space up there so you have room for storage,” he said, giving a tour of the house.

The home itself is only six feet wide.

It's what’s called a micro home and Carr says it’s a possible solution for Nashville's homeless.
He plans to live in the model home until the Fellowship raises enough money to build an entire village, which he said is around $50,000.

Reverend Carr left for a one day retreat Friday night. When he returned he found the home had been vandalized.

“Someone had repeatedly assaulted the door with a 40-pound boulder,” he said, showing the damage and the rock that was left behind.

The door did not give in to the would-be vandal.Carr said it's a reinforced door you would find on any full-sized home.

The micro home is a place Angela Wright said she'd love to live while she searches for a job.

“I'm jumping in between my cousin’s house who’s got three kids and then just sleeping on a bench sometimes or being at the church a lot of times I just sleep,” she said.

Wright said a lot of  people on the streets want to follow the rules and get both a job and a better life. But she said it is a vicious cycle: when you don’t have a place to go you can get in legal trouble for sleeping in public. When you have a record it’s hard to get a job.

“It’s a disease that affects a person and once you get it it’s sort of hard to get rid of it because sometimes you come back to a shelter and you come back to homelessness over and over again,” she said.

The micro home has a fold-up murphy bed, electricity and a microwave. The plan is for up to eight of the homes to share a common bathroom. Carr said it’s a model others can emulate.

“We can build eight hundred, eight thousand, we can provide not only services for the homeless but for people who are experiencing the problem of affordable housing in a growing city ,” he said.

And while 60 sq. feet may seem like an unlivable size to some, people who don't have anywhere else to go say the size is actually perfect.

“This is your first step to go into something bigger,” Wright said, “ I mean if you can appreciate this right here and keep it clean and do the things you’re supposed to do then it will motivate you to get something better.”

After the attempted break-in, what could've been a set-back actually helped the project raise money as the community backed the village.

“Bring it, it's not gonna stop us,” Carr said.

He pledges to live there as long as it takes to raise the needed $50,000 to build the first village. A Go Fund Me page shows more than $10,000 was raised as of Monday night.

The model home is on Monroe Street but Reverend Carr's Infinity Fellowship is working with non-profits with private land for a permanent spot for the future village. The homes are on wheels and are capable of being towed.