(COLORADO SPRINGS) – A new tiny house community in Colorado Springs is helping homeless teens and young adults get a roof over their heads and find stable jobs.
Working Fusion at Mill Street is now home to some of the less fortunate in the community thanks to the Colorado Springs organization, We Fortify, spearheading the project.
This community doesn’t just offer affordable housing, but it’s also a catalyst to get young at-risk adults into stable work and a better long-term living situation.
“This is something that can help us take people who otherwise might be homeless, get them housing and get them moving forward in their lives,” said Mayor John Suthers.
The focus for Working Fusion at Mill Street is for 18 to 25-year-olds. They’ll get access to health care, mental health and trauma programs, along with job training to strengthen workplace skills and help them find careers.
“They’ll get life skills education, just filling in the blanks where it may not have happened as you were growing up,” said Shelley Jensen, Founder & CEO of We Fortify.
“And then training for a living wage position, because we don’t believe it’s sustainable to, say, work at McDonald’s in the morning and then go work at Chick-Fil-A at night. They’re just going to burn out. And then that cycle is going to start again.”
The tiny home village will be temporary housing for up to two years while residents work toward a consistent job and home. The goal is to bring in a new group to keep the cycle going and shift more young people out of homelessness.
“In 10 years, hopefully we’ll have had 90 people come through working fusion and they will be in living wage positions. They’ll be socially connected, they’ll be mentally and physically healthy. When you focus on whole human growth, it’s not a turnkey solution, right? It requires relationship and it requires time because it’s it’s in their perfect timing for growth, not ours,” said Jensen.
“It can play an incredible role in a young person’s life, you know, finding a job, dealing with what other issues they might have, whether it’s addiction, mental health, and be able to move forward in life,” said Mayor Suthers.
The area has already been designated by the state of Colorado as an Enterprise Zone Project for encouraging job creation and reducing homelessness.
To donate to We Fortify or learn more about volunteering with their programs, click here.
Working Fusion is on the corner of Fountain Blvd and Sierra Madre St. The village consists of 11 tiny homes but the hope is to grow the number of homes in the community.