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Tiny houses to have big impact for homeless

I Am You 360 program for homeless young adults
Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 21:39:24-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tiny houses could have a big impact for homeless young adults. A local organization is building a community of tiny homes to help young people build their lives---and never be homeless again.

A small apartment complex near Grant and Oracle provides hope, and housing for young adults who otherwise would be homeless. Now the trend toward tiny houses is going to help still more.

Daniel Tadeo remembers how his life used to be:

“Before I was just on my own, I was lonely, I didn't have my parents with me because, like, they abandoned me. And I was sustaining a bunch of friends, houses, and I was there was just like a bad influence on me. But like, I didn't want to live that lifestyle, I wanted to become someone better.”

Tadeo says he was homeless at age 14. Now he’s 18, off the streets, and he’s had a private place to live for about three months.

KGUN reporter Craig Smith asked: “What was it like when they gave you the key and you could open the door and go, Hey, this is my place?”

Daniel Tadeo: “Dude, I was happy, you know ? Like, I don't know how to explain that feeling. It was so unbelievable. I was like, oh, no, like, like still thinking back to this day. Like, it's just crazy. Like, I don't know, I don't know.

That moment came with the help of an organization called I Am You 360. It helps them move into homes and away from dangerous lives on the street.

Founder Desiree Cook says: “They're the ones that slip through the cracks of society. They're the ones that are experiencing the victimization of sex trafficking, human trafficking, as well as incarceration, and the survival of the fittest, just to stay alive while they're couch surfing or sleeping in cars or what ever may come with just trying to stay alive.”

Now Cook is working to turn a bare patch of land near 22nd and Craycroft into a place to get more vulnerable young people into homes. I Am You 360 is building a community of tiny houses there. Residents will pay rent of two hundred dollars a month, while they learn the skills to never be homeless again.

“They will work and be engaged in their community through secondary education, as well as life skill development, cooking, cleaning, banking, all that would go into this project, and then helping them save the program is two to three years, and then they would purchase their first home at the end of the residing in the tiny homes.”

There are more funds to raise to make the tiny homes happen but plans call for their doors to open in about 8 months.