IMPACT
11/07/2014 04:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Alabama Frat Is Building Tiny Houses For Homeless Because They're Their Brothers Too

A new Alabama fraternity has already redefined what it means to be a "brother."

Phi Kappa Psi has only had a presence at the University of Alabama in Huntsville for less than a year, but they already have big plans to help improve their community, WHNT reported. Inspired by a chance meeting with a local homeless person, Taylor Reed -- president of the frat -- decided to establish an organization to build tiny homes for people without a place to live.

Foundations for Tomorrow has set its sights on building 30 tiny homes that will populate an acre of land, and allow its inhabitants to develop a community where they will live, eat and work together, according to the group’s fundraising site.

A model for the less than 500-square-feet mobile residences is already on display at a public housing conference in Mobile, WHNT reported. Each home costs about $5,000 to build and a local organization offered to provide solar panels for each house.

While the frat members plan do all the handiwork on their own, they need to raise funds for building materials and to acquire a piece of land.

As of Friday, the group had raised $1,070 of their $10,000 goal.

Phi Kappa Psi is just one of a number of groups that have hopped on the growing homelessness solution.

Late last month, for example, Greensboro, North Carolina, took the initial steps in building the city’s first tiny home for its residents living in extreme poverty.

Tiny Houses Greensboro hosted a workshop to train homeless people and local volunteers on the ins-and-outs of building these 128-square-foot domiciles, My Fox Philly reported.

Portland, Oregon, recently announced its plan to develop a tiny homes project as did Austin, Texas.

The concept goes hand-in-hand with the "Housing First" model, which advocates across the board support and say is the most cost-efficient and effective way to end homelessness.

The concept urges authorities to first put a roof over the head of someone in need, and then address their medical, economic and mental health issues.

But the proof in its efficacy comes from the residents themselves.

Betty Ybarra, 49, is one such satisfied customer who was relieved to finally trade living on Wisconsin’s frigid streets for a 99-square-foot home.

"We can check on our flowers and we can now try to live a normal life," she told Reuters.

Find out more about Foundations for Tomorrow and how you can get involved here.

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