Tiny home raffle raises money for new Detroit community

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A 190-square foot tiny home is up for auction to benefit Detroit's permanent tiny home community, aiming to help out people who might not otherwise have ever been able to become homeowners.  

Each tiny home on wheels in the community just off the Lodge Service Drive and Woodrow Wilson is unique, featuring things like a full-size stove, a loft bedroom and a tiny bathroom sink. Stacy Conwell-Leigh is the former Tiny Homes Project manager who's seen this neighborhood come to life. 

"We have tapped into something that I think was sorely missing," she said.

It is the brainchild of Cass Community Social Services Executive Director Faith Fowler, who wanted the homeless, returning citizens, senior citizens and children who age out of foster care to have a chance.

"What about asset inequality - how do we get assets into the people we serve?" Leigh said.

Thousands of people have applied to live here. The people who are approved pay a dollar a square foot each month and after seven years they own the home. 

During that time, they volunteer and take classes in financial literacy, and volunteers have even created a homeowner's manual to help new homeowners along.

"We're going to change 40 people's lives - 40 people and their families' lives - that's no small thing," Leigh said.

But it does bring us back to the tiny house up for auction. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold for $50 each. The drawing will be on July 8 and the money raised at the auction will go right back into the community and the people who live there.

"They can just move in - and it's ready for them because that's what we do so this will help with that, a lot," Leigh said.

Call 313-883-2277 ext. 203 or visit casscommunity.org/tinyhomes for more information.