There has been much debate on the use of shipping containers as a border wall along the Arizona-Mexico border and what to do with them.

One local organization is hoping to re-purpose some of the containers to create affordable housing for an intimate community of teens aging out of the foster care system.

“How do we come alongside and help those who have experienced a tremendous amount of trauma?” said Bryan Benz, the founder and CEO of Wholistic Transformation, a local faith-based nonprofit that works with children in foster care.

He believes one way to help is through affordable housing.

“I personally believe lots of good people are doing good things. But our numbers are not changing,” he explained. “Our outcomes for those trying to help the disenfranchised or those struggling.”

He says a bigger focus should be placed on development, and now a vision years in the making is becoming reality as the organization is in the process of creating a housing community for foster teens aged 18 to 21 on donated land from Bethel Community Baptist Church.

“Its not fair. These are young people who, through no fault of their own, have been taken out of their home. The people who are supposed to love them have not been able to, and they dont have a chance.”

Once complete, a small cluster of old shipping containers, some of which once served as a makeshift wall on the Arizona-Mexico border, will be transformed into one-bedroom houses equipped with everything you would expect, including a bedroom, kitchen, and appliances.

“Were going to give them the independence of their individual house. But life is meant to be lived in community,” he said.

Benz said he hopes to have it officially up and running sometime this fall. He also added that he hopes it serves as inspiration for others doing similar work in their communities.