Tiny Chippewa Falls homes closer to helping the homeless

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- There are big plans in the works for some mini-homes in Chippewa Falls.

Landmark Christian Church is getting closer to opening three of its tiny houses to the homeless.

Right now only one 8x12 ft. home is completely finished with another two tiny houses 70-percent near completion.

Associate Pastor Michael Cohoon says they’re currently working on finalizing paperwork that would open the homes to the unsheltered and change lives in a big way.

“No matter how big the house is, it gives you dignity and that's what we're hoping for,” explained Cohoon. “We want to make sure we follow the rules to make sure it's accepted in the community and by the government agencies and police departments are accepting of what we're doing. So, as soon as we can we're going to try to get people in there.”

Chippewa Falls lost its homeless shelter in 2014 so Cohoon says they began working on an alternative by building mini-homes for $5,000 each with donated materials

“People seem supportive of it,” Cohoon said. “I think they realize there's a need and this is a really quick and inexpensive way to meet that need.”

Once licensed through the Department of Transportation as homemade campers, Cohoon says he hopes area churches will host the homes until Landmark Christian Church finds a piece of land to begin Hope Village.

“The vision is 10 or 12 of these in community with each other,” he added.

With a half-acre of land Cohoon envisions a small village that will transform what it's like to be without a home in Chippewa Falls.

“There are some very nice people that I've meant that are unsheltered and I think as a community we don't need to have a fear of housing homeless people,” said Cohoon.

The homes will be available year-round and rented for short periods of time.

Cohoon hopes to keep building more tiny houses with help from area organizations so the church can focus on raising donations for a plot of land.

He says there's no set date for when the homes will be available for use.

Landmark Christian Church can be contacted at (715) 726-1332 or you can find more information on the Hope Village Facebook page.

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