Local nonprofit The Homing Project hopes to make a difference: Their goal is to build a village of 15 tiny homes, complete with wraparound services for unhoused people in Tucson.

The tiny homes are essentially free standing dorms that can be assembled in less than an hour.

It began last year as an idea between Kris Olsen-Garewal and her son. And since then, the project has grown with over 40 volunteers.

“I retired and I just looked out my door seeing how many people were clearly homeless,” she said. “I mentioned it to my son who worked with the homeless in LA.”

Volunteers like Monika Kriebel and Sabrina Ferrari wanted to get involved to help make the project happen.

“I’ve been involved since November,” Kriebel said.

Ferrari said this project inspired her to continue working in this field.

“They’re going deeper into the issues than just being surface level,” Ferrari said.

The team aims to help those living in the village to get jobs.

“One of our goals too is to make sure that people have skills that will get them a job that will pay enough,” Olsen-Garewal said.

Monterey Water Company donated the property to the nonprofit, but the surrounding neighbors don’t want the village in their neighborhood.

“The community doesn’t want a project that serves the homeless,” Olsen-Garewal said. “But they haven’t been too interested in hearing the details.”

She said the neighbors are concerned that the donated property will attract drugs and people camping out around the village, waiting for an open spot.

“So what we’re doing is not accepting applications,” Olsen-Garewal said. “They will need to go through the city’s continuum of care service.”

So they’re looking at two other properties and waiting for approval on two grants.

“The last thing we’re looking for is the financing for a 24-hour security force and just general things like food,” she said.

In the meantime, the team will continue to spread awareness for the project through pop-up events, taking a sample tiny house around to different areas of Tucson.

“So to gain community support, because I think that’s lacking,” Kriebel said. “People say ‘oh yeah I want to help, but not in our own backyards’.”

The Homing Project hopes to break ground on the village by the end of 2023. The pop-up event will remain at the Tucson Mall until Monday, June 5.