Volunteers in Lancaster County build ‘tiny houses’ for homeless families

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UPPER LEACOCK TWP., Pa. - Volunteers with several Rotary clubs in Lancaster County may be building something small, but it's something that will fill a large need in their community.

The volunteers are building two 'tiny houses' that will provide temporary shelter for homeless mothers and children in Lancaster city. They would be the first tiny houses in the city.

"It allows people to be in a space that is multi-functional," Sal Franqui, who is spearheading the project with Lancaster Sunrise Rotary Club, said. "This home will have a full bathroom, running water, refrigerator, and and be able to house anywhere between two to four people."

"We're very interested in the downtown and the different projects going on [to] allow these underserved families, mothers that needs some some sheltering that we have this home option for them," Lisa Groff, the president of the Lancaster Rotary Club, added.

When the homes are completed, they will be placed in the city's southeast end. The Spanish American Civic Association will identify families who need the temporary housing. Ideally, the families would stay in the tiny houses for 30 to 45 days, officials said.

"We'll be helping out with mental health counseling, helping them find a job, education if needed, and help with daycare for the children," Yirmares Cuevas, with SACA, said.

Volunteers are hoping to complete the tiny houses sometime this summer. They wanted to take part for more than just the novelty of tiny houses, also wanting to give back to the community.

"When the idea of tiny homes came out and the ability to place them in an area of need, people started flocking to to this project," Franqui said.