A church in Silverton wants to build a safe haven for homeless women by utilizing four tiny homes in the church parking lot.
St. Edward’s Episcopal Church has asked the Silverton City Council to consider changing city code to allow four small cottages to be built on church property, which would be turned into shelters for homeless women.
The church plans to partition off the back of its building to allow the women full-time access to its bathrooms, while also building a kitchenette specifically for the women to use.
It’s an idea that has become a growing success story at The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Eugene.
That church for years has allowed people to sleep on the property, but the tiny homes built a couple years ago have really made a difference, with church members saying the people who stay there take pride in their surroundings.
Rev. Shana McCauley hopes to build on that model in Silverton.
“Help them transition from being unhoused to having employment and a consistent foundation so that they can be back on their feet again,” McCauley said.
In Eugene, church members said they faced little resistance, but there has been some pushback in Silverton.
Still, McCauley said drugs and alcohol will not be allowed and everyone who stays in the tiny homes will go through a vetting process that includes a criminal background check and a long conversation about their hopes moving forward.
“We don't require everyone to be sober, but they're not allowed to have any of it on site. There's no violence. Everybody needs to be treated with respect,” she said.
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