Syracuse, NY, (NCC News)-Homelessness is a large issue in Syracuse and the areas surrounding it. According to the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York, homelessness has increased by 40% since 2021. 75% of these people were never homeless before.
The problem has many layers, but some of it has to do with the affordable housing that people living in shelters are put into. A lot of the time they have sanitary issues and landlords that try to overcharge people for rent that already can’t afford it in the first place.
A Tiny Home for Good in Syracuse is trying to change that. They are a non-profit company that gives people coming out of shelters a safe place to stay. They constantly check up on their tenants and do things such as drive them to doctor’s appointments and make sure their house has no issues.
“Our mission is to end homelessness,” said director of tenant services Josh Seierson. “By building affordable housing and making sure that it stays affordable for our tenants.”
A Tiny Home for Good is unique in that most of their properties are built for one-person. In many public affordable housing systems, strangers have to share rooms, which can be very uncomfortable for many. Seirson says that all many of the tenants really want is their own key and their own place where they can start to build a new life for themselves. They have recently started accommodating small families in bigger houses, though.
The non-profit is working on building up its staff, which would help them be able to build more houses. Currently, there is a long waiting list of people. They have 26 houses built and 11 in the making.
“I really just feel like we are gaining a lot of momentum,” said director of development Katie Weaver. “We’re starting to be a part of the larger housing conversation in the city and the county.”
The entire staff values getting to know each and every tenant on a deeper level than just their name. They believe that showing them that they care will help the tenants be able to move on and work to build a better life.
According to a study conducted by the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, each tenant in the Tiny Home for Good program saves Onondaga County $117,694 each year. This comes from them having a decreased use of social security and emergency services.
Although the homelessness problem is not fixed yet, a Tiny Home for Good believes it is on its way to making a real change.