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Arizona nonprofit to build tiny homes for youth leaving foster care

The mission is not just to build them housing, but to develop a community with a solid support system.
Arizona nonprofit to build tiny homes for youth leaving foster care
Posted at 2:54 PM, Sep 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-12 14:54:08-04

An Arizona nonprofit is working toward a creative solution to help those moving out of foster care.

Wholistic Transformation, a faith-based organization in Tucson, wants to take shipping containers from the border wall and convert them into tiny homes for youth aging out of the foster care system. 

The mission is to not just build them housing, but to create a community with a solid support system. 

Nearly 60% of men aging out of foster care will be convicted of a crime, and 70% of young women will become pregnant before 21, according to the nonprofit. Founder and CEO Bryan Benz wants to better position these young adults for success.

"We create vibrant relational communities for those aging out of foster care where they are engaged in experiences which result in wholistic health by providing a path for each person to mature and grow in their own dignity and worth, and their relationship with God and others," Wholistic Transformation said on its website.

At a recent event, Benz said each tiny home will be a one-bedroom house with a full kitchen, bathroom and washer and dryer, according to The Arizona Republic. Residents will get to customize the interior, from the cabinet styles to couch fabrics.

SEE MORE: Twins walking across America to raise foster care awareness

So far, plans are to create a community of seven tiny homes made out of shipping containers on two adjoining lots belonging to the neighboring church, Bethel Community Baptist Church, The Arizona Republic said.

Benz said he was called to this mission upon learning about the rate of homelessness among foster care graduates.

The child welfare system is often referred to as the "highway to homelessness," according to the National Foster Youth Institute. The Institute said that 20% of young adults end up homeless the moment they're emancipated at the age of 18.


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