GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Westside ministry held a groundbreaking Tuesday near the corner of North Avenue and Cedar Street in Grand Rapids as it celebrated the first build of some 50 tiny homes.
Once complete, the small houses that will range from 750 to 900 square feet will come fully furnished. Rent will range from $450 to $650 a month, as the ministry aims to help lower income families and individuals.
“It’s just kind of a starting spot for a lot of individuals. Housing right now is just very, very difficult to find. Especially affordable,” said Matthews House Ministry’s George Werkema.
Matthew’s House Ministry helps men, women and children find safe and affordable housing and employment services.
“Homelessness is very complex,” said Sgt. John Wittkowski, who is part of the Grand Rapids Police Department’s Homelessness Outreach Team.
“Individuals who find their way on the street and in an encampment typically have a myriad of issues: anything from mental health related concerns, substance use, certainly there’s complex trauma … and to truly understand homelessness, is to understand the individual, the human being,” Wittkowski said.
He said six individuals lost their lives this winter in the city of Grand Rapids while experiencing homelessness. They passed due to the overexposure of the elements.
These tiny homes can be rented out for up to two years and Werkema told News 8 they are considering rent-to-own options.