YUBA COUNTY (CBS13) — Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has announced he wants to build about 1,000 tiny homes.
The concept follows Yuba County’s 14 Forward project, where 20 tiny homes serve as a launching point to get homeless people off the streets for good.
The tiny homes have opened new opportunities for the homeless since 2016.
“Coming from prison, it’s a totally different society, I learned to keep up,” said Quentin Barrett.
Out of prison for nearly a year, Barrett is on his way up in the real world. After living on the streets for months, Barrett found shelter in the Twin Cities Rescue Mission in Marysville. About a week later, he was next door inside one of the tiny homes with his girlfriend.
“They were able to help me find a better me,” said Barrett.
“If they are committed to the process then they will be successful,” said Chaya Galicia, Yuba County’s Homeless Project Manager.
To live in one of these 20 tiny homes, you must be homeless with ambition. Galicia says the project’s mission is to help tenants find permanent housing and a stable job.
“We have about a 30 percent success rate of people that move into permanent housing, we have served about 150 people in the past year-and-a-half,” Galicia added.
Galicia says not everyone is ready to make such a big change, but that’s the case for Lache Campbell.
“I’ve never had the opportunity or resources to put my best foot forward, it’s amazing, and I get that here,” Campbell said.
Campbell grew up in foster care and turned to drugs at a young age, leaving her homeless for almost a decade. Now sober for six months and counting, she says 14 Forward helped her gain the confidence she needs to enter the workforce.
Barrett now has two jobs thanks to the program. It’s a second chance for an unstoppable pair who needed a tiny lift to make big changes.
“It’s like a kickstand; everybody needs a kickstand. We choose to build it and keep on the right path,” Barrett and his girlfriend said.
The couple hopes to find permanent housing in the next few months, and say this is the foundation they needed to get their head start.
Tenants, including the couple, have up to 84 days to stay in the tiny homes while they come up with an exit plan to get off the streets.