Lessons of love are taught every Sunday morning at Denver's St. Andrews Episcopal Church, just east of downtown. Now parishioners are hoping for a new opportunity to practice what they preach.
"We learned a great deal from their pilot project," Ally Dodge, one of the church's parishioners, said.
Dodge is part of the team that wants to build eight tiny homes on St. Andrew's parking lot. The houses would be specifically used for women, including transgender women, who are homeless.
"All homeless people are at risk," Dodge said. "It's a very challenging place to be without a home, living on the street, but we know that women and transgender women, in particular, are more at risk. So, that was the first population that came to mind when we created our village."
Applications for a six-month permit have been submitted to the city, however, there's still more work to be done since the church is located in Clements Historic Neighborhood. The group is getting ready for a hearing by city's Landmark Preservation Commission which will be reviewing the project. The commission's job is to "designate, preserve, enhance, and perpetuate structures or districts that have architectural, historical, or geographical significance within the city of Denver," according to the city's website.
"There are certain standards and designs that Clements Historic District requires in order to have anything build here including even a temporary tiny house on wheels," Dodge said.
This week, Dodge's team will start a fundraising campaign "so the neighbors and community can help fund this project," she said. Their goal is to raise $200,000. So far, they have $40,000 between two grants the group has received.
The group plans to open a request for proposal, or RFP, in the upcoming week for a general contractor to help develop the homes which can be found on Colorado Village Collaborative's website.
If all goes as planned, the group hopes to start construction this summer.