OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The tiny homes that now line a street off NE 50th in Oklahoma City will help young 18 to 25-year-olds who are aging out of the foster care system and experiencing homelessness.
The organization helps those 12 to 25-years-old but only allows those 18 and older to live in these new homes.
Pivot Inc., a local nonprofit for homeless youth, officially opened the doors to 20 new tiny homes Wednesday.
They gave KFOR an inside look at what each home, which will now give many young Oklahomans a second chance at success.
The homes run between 280 and 320 square feet, with a living space, kitchen, bathroom, and closet.
“We want to eliminate barriers and difficulties for them so that they can really focus on growing and becoming self-sustaining adults,” Chandy Rice, senior director of external affairs for Pivot Inc.
Architecture students at Oklahoma State University designed the homes – each one with a different look, and area interior designers added the final touches to make each space functional.
The tiny homes have been years in the making, with Pivot opening its first bunch four years ago.
“We opened three in 2018, another three in 2020, and here we are in 2022 opening 20 more,” Rice said.
The latest and biggest batch of tiny homes came with an unexpected price tag.
“We originally wrote a federal housing trust fund grant for these pre-COVID,” said Rice. “So pre-COVID, the grant was written for $44,000 a house. It has ended up costing us post-COVID, or during-COVID, about $70,000 per house.”
The total cost ended up being $1.54 million. Rice said the community pitched in to help with the added costs, donating windows, flooring, and AC units.
The small homes can now open the door for a new beginning for more than a dozen members of Oklahoma City’s younger generation.
“We did this for the kids of Oklahoma City,” said Genesis Brown, Pivot’s marketing and communications coordinator. “They are going to be safer. They’re going to have the resources they need.”
Pivot said it would pause making any new homes for its tiny home program for a short time, now that the 20 homes have opened. Rice said it was simply so the organization could make sure its serves each tenants needs as well as it can by helping find jobs, with mental health services, and teaching growth for their future.