There's a common scene in streets and parks across Tucson — dozens of unsheltered people huddling under any shade they can find. The city reports over 1,000 people were experiencing homelessness last year, with about 854 of those unsheltered.
There's a local non-profit that's looking to help by quickly bringing people housing. The Homing Project, founded by Raj Garewal and his mom Dr. J Kristin Olson-Garewal in 2021, aims to create a village of micro-homes with wraparound behavioral health and medical services.
"There are many people on the street who do not want to be there and we want to do everything we can to end that,” Garewal said.
The micro-homes, created by Pallet Shelter, have been set up in over 55 other cities across the country. The mini cabins can be set up in less than an hour and can be quickly disassembled about 40 times.
"They’re kind of like dorm like structures, they have locks on the doors, storage space, beds, AC, and things like that," Garewal said.
The shelters have space for two beds and storage space.
"We want to set up a community, to start with about 30 of these with communal bathrooms and shower," he said.
While they are keeping the lands location under wraps for now, he said they hope to get it set up by around November of this year.
He said they are looking for donations and volunteers to help with the project. Recently, Garewal said University of Arizona Masters of Public Health program offered its student body as volunteers.
Tina Giuliano is a reporter for KGUN 9. She is a native Arizonan and grew up in Scottsdale. Tina is passionate about storytelling and is excited to work telling Tucson's stories. Share your story ideas and important issues with Tina by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.