Homeless 'huts' strive to protect the homeless during the monsoon

Published: Jul. 12, 2014 at 10:07 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 5:16 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A community effort to provide shelter for Tucson's homeless is gaining traction as more volunteers have expressed interest in helping transients during the monsoon.

Michele Ream with the nonprofit group, Community Supported Shelters, held a meeting Saturday to discuss how to move the project forward.

"Last week we had a homeless person get washed away in the wash so that just reminds me how critical the need is," Ream said.

Tucson Fire responded to a swift water rescue at the Flowing Wells wash on July 5, where neighbors reported a homeless man was calling for help under the overpass.

A subsequent search from Pima County Sheriff's Department showed no sign of the man, who is still presumed missing.

Ream's community supported shelters, also known as "homeless huts," intend to provide basic shelter for homeless people wishing to escape from monsoon storms.

"Last year around gem show time, I walked a three-mile stretch of the Santa Cruz wash and there were 27 distinct campsites in that area so that shows how great the need is," Ream said.

The huts cannot be built anywhere. Participating churches and consenting property owners may allow the huts, according to Ream.

Hut models are currently built at the Central City Assembly Church on 10th Avenue. Ream said their team is looking at developing a prototype hut that could easily be built by volunteers.

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