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HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

With over 20 years of social service work experience related to housing, Shelley Doezema just could not let one more day go by without trying to change the housing opportunities in Hastings. All cities and towns have people that need better housing options, and Shelley has worked with the people that suffer from a lack of safe, affordable housing.

So, as one does, Shelley bought a camper to give to a family in need (summer 2022).

A camper was a better housing option than what a family can afford in Hastings.

This was the start.

Shelley developed the Renewed Communities non-profit so that better housing options could be realized in her community, in your community, in Hastings, Michigan (August 2022).

As Shelley continued her research and connected with more professionals and built a team, she began to understand what housing solutions might work best for the hastings community (summer 2022 until today).

Just a few of the resources Shelley explored include:

  • a very detailed book about tiny home communities written by Reverend Faith Fowler from Detroit, this is an excellent resource explaining the funding and living models of several tiny home communities across the nation.

  • an internship with the Community First project in Austin, Texas to learn about the funding, organizing, planning needed to support building this type of community (November 2022)

  • meetings with architects who have completed pocket neighborhoods consisting of multiple housing options

  • finding a location to house Renewed Communities, studio apartments for immediate rental, and enough acreage to support a pocket neighborhood in the heart of Hastings.

Renewed Communities supports all agencies trying to make change in Hastings -- working together is the key to success in this effort.

There simply are not enough affordable options -- let's make some, together.

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Here's where it all started

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Sometimes, this is home

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First home in the Cass Community in Detroit

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Site plan at Community First! in Austin, TX showing a combination of mobile and tiny home sites

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Status report from Community First!

HOW YOU CAN HELP

"It takes a village" -- a community, actually.

Housing insecurity is an issue everywhere, impacting everyone.

Let's pull our community together to provide the support needed to get people secure,

affordable, safe, appropriate housing.

Talk with us

Share your story

Join a committee

Donate funds

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