– Welcome back to The DelawareWay, I'm Larry Mendte.
Fighting the homelessproblem with tiny houses.
You may have read about itand the controversy around it.
We'll talk to some ofthe people involved.
From the Victory Churchis Pastor Aaron Appling, and Sue Harris from PortHope Delaware Church.
Thank you both for being here.
Let's start by talking aboutwhat the tiny houses are and how that solvesthis problem.
– Well, they're a 200square foot structure that would have a bathroom andhave a full shower, toilet, et cetera,kitchenette and a bed.
And it would be private,they'd have their own property.
And it would solve the idea that you can't solve homelessnessunless someone has a home.
And so, shelter is not a home.
They're stillhomeless in a shelter.
They're still homeless ifthey're in a hotel room.
So, until there's an actual home that people who're homelesscould be transitioned into, we'll forever have a cycle ofhomelessness in our country.
– It is a great ideabecause most of the time when you talk abouthelping the homeless they talk aboutcreating more shelters or going out into the communityand feeding the homeless, but this makes it so they'renot homeless anymore.
I guess that was the wholepoint of it in the first place.
– Well, I thinkthat's the idea, too.
Those shelters arecertainly needed because you needto get people in and off the streets rightaway as much as you can, and feeding the ones that areleft out there is important, right now, whilethey're still out there, but a solution toafter the shelter is what we're looking for, somesort of affordable housing, permanent supportivehousing, sort of a thing, to give them a place tofeel secure and safe, and be able to start fixing some of the otherproblems that they have.
– Anytime you dosomething like this, especially when they're homeless because people are worriedabout their property values, or they're worriedabout their safety, they don't want it intheir neighborhoods.
So, you've receivedsome push-back becauseof that, right? – Yes, yes, about 18 ofour neighbors, I believe, of a neighborhood of about60 houses and 60 families, have put up signs andthey're against it.
I believe, personally, it'spurely out of ignorance to the situation,of what we're doing.
– You're not goingto make friends by calling themignorant, you know.
– Well, I mean ignorance inthey don't really understand homelessness or homeless people.
They have an idea in theirmind that being homeless means that you're a drug addict, drug dealer,criminal, et cetera, you're alcoholic, and manyof them have those problems, but also many peoplewho live in houses have those problems as well.
So homeless are peopleand giving them a home is not going tomake them somehow become criminals, you know.
So, I think that once theyreally see what we're doing, getting homelessveterans off the street, getting some peoplethat maybe just have some mental illnesses thatkeep them from holding a job, but they're not necessarilyviolent, criminals, or anything in that nature, I think once they realizewhat's really happening, it's hard for youto be against it.
– Where is this exactly? Where are you talking aboutbuilding these tiny houses? – Victory Church has theproperty that has been offered, Victory Church hasoffered their land.
It's on Forest Avenue, sowe're working with the county in the hopes that wecan get it approved and have the firstvillage of 15 houses right there on VictoryChurch property and that's on Forest Street.
– Is this gonnahappen now matter what the neighborhood says? – Yeah, I mean, noneof us have a choice who lives next to us.
I have a house and I can't say, if someone decides tobuy a house next to me, well they can't buy the house because they're a pedophileor because of this.
I have no choice.
So I don't thinkit's right to say, well, homeless peoplecan't live in this side of the country, or thisside of the county, or this particular part,because that would be discrimination againsta group of people and I believe that thepoor and the homeless, especially at the bottomof the poverty level, at the very least, are the most discriminated peoplein our country.
– You do understand, though,and I hope they understand, the people that get thisopportunity from you, one problem reported in the news and you're hurting everybody.
You're hurting the church, you're hurting the otherpeople that get houses.
Do you think theyall understand that? – Well, sure, I thinkthat a lot of people, especially in the startof this pilot village, is gonna have to be aware that the spotlight will be onthis particular village, that we'll have to besuper careful about that sort of thing.
There is always, inall of these villages that have been establishedthroughout the country, there is an intake process,there's questionnaires.
So, unlike in mostof the neighborhoods, you have people moving inall around you all the time, you really don't knowanything about them, you don't know what kind ofproblems they might have had, we will know a lot about them.
We'll know, you know, justwho might need extra help and that sort of thing.
And if we have a bad neighboror have a bad village resident we'll have a wayto get rid of them.
– Once it works, thenit becomes accepted.
So when you talkabout ignorance, the best way to cureignorance is with education– – Knowledge.
– Through exampleand with knowledge.
And the knowledge cancome with people moving in and everything going well.
And that creates anopportunity for more people to do the same thing.
– It's a wonderful opportunityin this particular area, too, because the churchis right next door and has committed tobe such a big part.
Homeless ministry ishuge in Victory Church, so they're a wonderful partnerto make this particular pilot village work just right.
– Well, I wish you allthe success in the world and when it doessucceed, come on back.
And we can talk about that too.
– Absolutely, we hope to seemany throughout Delaware.
– Thank you so much, Ireally appreciate it.
– Thank you, Larry,appreciate it.
– I appreciate you coming in.
Pastor Aaron Appling, whois with the Victory Church, and Sue Harris,Port Hope Delaware.
When we come back, one ofthe reasons for homelessness is gambling addiction.
We'll talk about howsome people in Delaware.