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KGUN 9 Tucson News

Local non-profit continues creating tiny home village

By Tina Giuliano,


For the last year, the local non-profit I Am You 360 has worked to construct their small home experience. The goal is to house foster youth that are aging out of the system and need a place to live.

"We're about 75 percent done and we got 20 percent to go," Desiree Cook, the founder of I Am You 360, said.

The team is planning on constructing 10 tiny homes — nine for the residents and one for the community center — that is complete with a bathroom, dinette and bedroom.

"We're really raising funds for the roofs, windows and doors," Cook said.

For foster youth aging out of the system when they turn 18, about 20 percent of them will instantly be homeless according to the National Foster Youth Institute. At this tiny home village, they aim to teach the residents financial literacy and other skills to help them retain jobs.

"Our target is 18 to 22-year-olds for our housing project because those are the ones that are slipping through the fabric of our society," Cook said.

Throughout the three years in the program, the residents will pay rent and half of that money will be put away into an escrow account.

"That way at the end of three years we'll give that back and they'll be able to purchase their first starter home," Cook said.

They're looking to raise more money to complete the project by the end of the summer.

Tina Giuliano is a reporter for KGUN 9 . She is a native Arizonan and grew up in Scottsdale. Tina is passionate about storytelling and is excited to work telling Tucson's stories. Share your story ideas and important issues with Tina by emailing or by connecting on Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter .

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