Micro Homes for the Homeless in Ellendale - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Micro Homes for the Homeless in Ellendale

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 10:47 PM -04:00 Updated:

ELLENDALE, Del.- A community activist in Sussex County has a vision for change--change he hopes will benefit the homeless population.

Jim Martin hopes to jumpstart that change by bringing nearly 10 micro homes to Ellendale. These homes will be 12 x 16 feet, and cost nearly $100,000 in total.

Some homes will be equipped with showers, washers and dryers and internet access for those in need. 

The homes aim to provide those living on the street a safe place to rest their head at night; while also working hand-in-hand with various programs teaching them life skills--including stress, anger, and money management. 

The organizers behind the project, Jim Martin and Gene Louis of Tap Faith, a local non-profit, say this project will also benefit those recovering from addiction. 

"Moms and dads have sons and daughters that have been addicted to heroin and they need a place to go. They burned all their bridges and they're not with mom and dad anymore. Mom and dad are saying no don't come back."

Tap Faith hopes these houses, as well as having a few counselors on site will help those struggling a chance to get back on their feet.

"We want to reduce the 800-plus homeless people we have here down to a couple hundred," Gene Louis with Tap Faith said. "We'll never get them all, that's impossible. But if we get that many over the next four or five years, we'll be doing the county a great service on a number of levels."

But not everyone is as excited about the new micro homes coming to the area. 

Some neighbors living nearby the nearly 5.5 acre proposed site said they worry about newcomers who may have rocky pasts--though most did not want to be identified for the story.

Carolyn Baynes, who lives right up the street, says she's all for people getting their lives back on track with the new micro homes--though she's prepared to defend herself if she's ever put in a compromising position with newcomers in the area. 

"I feel comfortable being able to protect myself," Baynes said. "I know exactly how to use my gun. I practice target shooting, and if I had to use it, I have no doubt I'd use it."

Project organizers say despite concerns, there are still many benefits to this proposal, benefits that could greatly impact those who need it the most. 

The new project is contingent upon Sussex County approval and rezoning plans. 



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