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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Homeless families in Multnomah County are benefiting from a pilot program that matches them with a backyard, and their own granny flats.

The program, called “A Place for You,” housed its first families this summer, in four accessory dwelling units, which were built in participating homeowners’ backyards at the cost of about $100,000 apiece.

Martha Chambers, who lives in north Portland, agreed to let Sherry Mesa and her 12-year-old niece live in an ADU in her backyard for five years.

“It’s been really great from the get-go,” Chambers said, who had been considering having an ADU built in her backyard anyway, but balked at the price and permits required.

After five years, Chambers can buy the ADU from the county at market value.

As for Mesa, the modest apartment is an opportunity to get back on her feet, after being in and out of shelters for eight months.

“It’s just amazing what they offered, what we have. And we’re so grateful. Grateful for Martha because it’s her land,” Mesa said.

Mesa, who became homeless running away from domestic violence, said it’s a relief to have a safe space to live.

“I don’t want to relax yet, you know? I don’t want to take for granted any moment that we’re here,” Mesa said.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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