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A Dream Come True For Many!
Tiny Building Experts has been chosen to build the tiny homes for a new tiny home village in Colorado Springs, Colorado for at-risk young adults, with a special focus on the youth aging out of foster care. With the lack of housing and unaffordable prices, the need is immediate.
The new tiny home village is called Working Fusion At Mill Creek and will be a safe haven for at-risk young adults. We Fortify is the non-profit that is developing the much-needed tiny home village.
We Believe- People inherently want to live lives of independence and purpose
An unshakeable sense of hope creates a foundation for possibility
Tenacious encouragement provides structure for growth
Caring accountability fortifies people to face and overcome challenges
We are a homeless prevention initiative.
The tiny house community will not only be an affordable place to live, but resources will be available to help young homeless people find jobs and be able to find other housing after the transition period. The people who live at Working Fusion at Mill Street will pay rent to live in the tiny homes and will only be allowed to live there for two years.
Shelley Jensen, the founder of We Fortify, is behind the project and just won the Jefferson Awards, an award started by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1972, which has honored over have honored the incredible spirit and unique accomplishments of over 63,000 national and local heroes.
Working Fusion at Mill Street is a neighborhood community in Colorado Springs, Colorado that fortifies motivated young adults to create lives of purpose and sustainable independence.
By providing dignified housing, accessible support services, and an inspiring peer community, Working Fusion becomes a partner in creating a clear path forward for young adults who have experienced economic challenges.
With a deep respect for each person’s inherent worth, potential, and desire for self-sufficiency, Working Fusion offers compassionate guidance, tenacious encouragement, and caring accountability.
Working Fusion at Mill Street is for young adults
between the ages of 18 and 29 who:
Being in Foster Care himself although for a short time, Austin knows first hand what it’s like to grow up without a Dad and minimal positive influence in his young life so when the opportunity to be a part of this project came to us and offered us a chance to help people, we committed to being part of this critical cause.
We want to be a part of the solution and offer these young people a positive influence. This program is bigger than affordable housing and getting these young adults started in the right direction in life. Having a program to work with the kids to teach life skills with surely motivate, and influence others to do the program and become leaders and mentors too. This is going to be amazing Community development, watch the impact of this little neighborhood come to life and please consider supporting We Fortify!
On behalf of Tiny Building Experts, we are assuring these Tiny houses are made with love and well built so they are a blessing in our community. This is why we started our business, to help people have something they could call home.
Austin Baker & Tracy Manchego-Baker
Tiny Building Experts
According to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Director in Colorado Springs, Steve Posey, HUD currently does not have any future affordable housing projects that include tiny homes in Colorado Springs, but there may be in parts of the country. Posey said that the Mill Street tiny home project is not considered affordable housing, but its intention is to decrease the amount of people in homeless shelters.
He said that the local HUD has partnered up with the non-profit organization We Fortify to help with the Mill Street project. “We helped them buy one of the tiny homes because that is going to help so that we don’t have more of our young folks going into a shelter,” Posey said. “But that is more of what I would consider transitional housing where they can live in a tiny home for six months or a year until they get back on their feet and they are able to go into a more traditional apartment scenario.”
According to the director of Greccio Housing Lee Patke, We Fortify’s Founder, Shelley Jensen came up with a more innovative way than most affordable housing organizations use for developments. “You want to talk about out-of-the-box kind of thinking, Shelley Jensen just has a mind for that kind of development,” Patke said. “She is really an incubator of ideas and she is very innovative in her ideas with the Mill Street project
A new community of “tiny homes" near downtown Colorado Springs is set to receive its first residents this weekend – 18- to 25-year-olds otherwise at risk of homelessness.
Four of the 240 square-foot homes have already been delivered to the community, named Working Fusion at Mill Street. In total, 18 homes, all constructed locally, are ultimately planned for the site. The compact buildings manage to fit a kitchen, bathroom, full-sized bed, and lofted storage space as well as a washer and dryer in each unit.
In 2019, Colorado Springs resident Shelley Jensen founded We Fortify, the parent company of the Working Fusion project, to help vulnerable young people “out of the cycle of poverty, permanently.”
Rent for the tiny homes will be $600 a month and potential residents will be nominated from other human services organizations in Colorado Springs. Initial leases will last for two years to allow tenants to adjust to adult responsibilities and process trauma they may have experienced as children.
"If that [trauma] is not managed in parallel to getting that job, to learning those new life skills, it can be detrimental to the job that they now have,” Jensen said. “So, we really want to give them enough time to really handle this well."
The first two homes arrived on trailers at the site Tuesday morning. Volunteers like Charles Mingonet were building fences, leveling the homes, and preparing them to be hooked up to utility lines. Organizers said outdoor decks will be built onto the structures over the next week.
“People always go, ‘What do we do about the homeless?’” Mingonet said. “Well, let’s get them a good job and get them a place to live, not just put them up for a night.”
The inside of one of the tiny homes at the Working Fusion development in the Mill Street neighborhood Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.
Chuck Mingonet helps guide a tiny home into place Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, as the first five tiny homes are put into place at the Working Fusion development in the Mill Street neighborhood.
Nelson Gandica roofs one of the storage sheds Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at the Working Fusion development in the Mill Street neighborhood.
Marked progress on a Colorado Springs woman’s vision to build a tiny home village for homeless young adults brought enough excitement to rival Santa’s chimney drop.
“I felt like a child at my first Christmas yesterday when those houses came,” said Shelley Jensen, a community strategist and founder of We Fortify, the nonprofit organization developing the project.
An inaugural five of 18 tiny homes planned for the new Working Fusion development in the Mill Street neighborhood in southwest downtown arrived Tuesday.pany policies, executive profiles, company awards/distinctions, office locations, shareholder reports, whitepapers, media mentions and other pieces of content that don’t fit into a shorter, more succinct space.
Six old houses occupying .63 acres, roughly two-thirds of a city block, were torn down to make way for the tiny homes.
Residents are 18 to 25 years old and have been referred to the program by a social service agency. Some have aged out of the foster care system and don’t have anywhere to live; others have been couch-surfing or living with families or friends and need a better plan.
After going through a lengthy interview process, accepted residents must sign a two-year lease agreement and contract to be a “good neighbor” and agree to such conditions as not playing music too loudly, not allowing trash to accumulate and not smoking in the immediate area.
Two additional houses, built locally by Tiny Building Experts, will be moved into the development each month, with Jensen seeking funding for the final six units. Simultaneously, Jensen wants to construct a building to the north, to hold classes for residents on independent living, cooking, budgeting and other skills; provide space for yoga lessons, community events and activities; display public art; and create social enterprise to help support We Fortify.
Gets Green Light Sept 19, 2019
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