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"Tiny Homes" are coming to Englewood to address youth homelessness

The Tiny Homes Englewood community meeting started off with a spoken word by two artists from Kuumba Lynx. Their piece was appropriate for the meeting; speaking about violence, community-police, and still maintaining hope. It was a great way to present to the community an aspect of the programming that Tiny Homes occupants will have access to. 

Tiny Homes is a new housing solution to help youth combat homelessness. They will be erected on S. Wood St. between 63rd & 64th Street. Eligible occupants are between the ages of 18-26. Youth will have the opportunity to focus on their education and finding gainful employment, instead of worrying about rent and a place to stay. A partnership with City Colleges of Chicago will allow youth to enroll in vocational programs and Kennedy King. Program specifics are being negotiated. In addition to educational support, occupants will work with case managers to receive academic, personal, and behavioral health services to support their success. 

"Homelessness is a circumstance, not a condition", stated Leslie Taylor, La Casa Norte Youth Empowerment Specialist. The programs and resources the Tiny Homes will offer will support youth in changing their circumstances. 

 

Sol Flores, La Casa Norte Founding and current Executive Director, made it clear that La Casa Norte chose Englewood for a specific reason. "Yes, La Casa Norte has Latin roots, but since we've started, we have serviced the Black community where 65% of our clients are Black. We get calls from the local high schools. We currently have an overnight shelter and drop in center on 47th & Wood. We want to be good neighbors, and that's why we're here! We want to plug into the Englewood Quality of Life Plan and help achieve those outcomes!" 

The Englewood Tiny Homes will serve as a pilot. There will be ten units, and youth can stay the duration of their program, ranging between 12-16 months. There will be a Community house in the center of the homes, for entertainment and communal purposes. 

 At present, the estimated cost to develop is $1.5 million. This could fluctuate depending upon the environmental needs to remediate the land. The estimated date to open will be 2019. 

The mission of La Casa Norte is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness. We provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities.

Pride Action Tank is a new, results-driven group that addresses challenges facing individuals and groups within LGBTQIA communities through a collaborative process of inquiry, advocacy and action. 

For more information on Tiny Homes, check out this one pager.

Posted in Quality of Life, Housing, Englewood Planning Advisory Committee (EPAC)