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El Cajon church looks to build emergency sleeping cabins for homeless

Posted at 5:42 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 09:35:47-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon is working to put up a handful of so-called emergency sleeping cabins on their property.

“They are different from tiny homes,” Pastor Rolland Slade said, pointing out that they don’t have running water or a kitchen. “They are essentially a shelter for someone living in homelessness to actually sleep behind a locked close door and be comfortable.”

Slade says they have bathrooms on the property as well as a kitchen. They are looking to install a shower or perhaps bring them in through outside organizations.

The emergency cabins are 144 sq feet, of which 96 square feet is livable space.

“The village we are looking to build is going to focus on veteran women with children who are living in homelessness in El Cajon,” Slade says.

Slade says they will find their clients through organizations that work with the homeless. The homes are not meant to be permanent housing, and families will be allowed to stay for 90 days.

The church is working with a group called Amikas, as well as the city.

El Cajon city officials have given the pilot program the green light through December 31, 2023. However, city officials say “permits are required, and the “emergency housing” must be operated by an organization experienced/proficient.”

There is one cabin on the property. It is not occupied and is used as a demo. Slade hopes to get a total of six up in the next four to six months. They are working on fundraising efforts to build the cabins.