Glendale church helps affordable housing crisis, provides land for low-cost apartments
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Pastor Minerva Guzman and her son Jonathan devote their lives to helping others, so it’s no surprise they jumped at the chance to use a section of their unused church property to provide housing to the homeless. “As a church, that’s what we do, that’s what we are called to do, to help people,” said Jonathan Guzman. “When they presented that idea to us, it was excellent.”
The Disciples of Christ Church in Glendale is taking a bold new step in the fight to keep struggling families from living on the street. Ted Taylor is the CEO of Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, a nonprofit that gives shelter, food, and clothing to folks in need with the help of churches and other faith-based organizations.
Taylor is taking the relationships a step further, asking the religious groups to provide some of their vacant, unused lands so Family Promise can build affordable apartments. “We’re putting this development on a church property, and there are church properties like this all over the Valley,” said Taylor. “They (churches) want to be missional, and we are making that missional capability possible, by developing a community that can fit on that property.”
The developments are called “Micro Housing Villages,” and the first of its kind will go up behind the Disciples of Christ Church, off 59th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. Large shipping containers will be retrofitted into 640 square foot, two-bedroom furnished apartments. According to Taylor, they can be built at 1/3 of the cost of a traditional complex.
The units will be set up as a housing bridge as tenants look to find a permanent place to live. Rent is expected to be around $150 a week. “It’s great for other churches and organizations,” said Guzman. “If they have lots of places like this, they can build something, too. We help the people, it’s great to help people .”
According to Taylor, this micro-housing village should be up and running by the end of summer. In addition, Taylor said discussions are already underway to build three more micro-housing villages in the Phoenix-metro area. For more details, visit: https://familypromiseaz.org/programs/
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